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Social Housing Resilience Group weekly update: 30 July

Update on the SHRG's work and key issues.

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The Social Housing Resilience Group (SHRG) was convened by SFHA in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

As well as SFHA, the SHRG comprises Scottish Government, Public Health Scotland, Scottish Housing Regulator, Wheatley Group, Glasgow and West of Scotland Forum of Housing Associations, Chartered Institute of Housing Scotland, and Association of Local Authority Chief Housing Officers.

The SHRG aims to deal with the significant challenges the outbreak is causing so that social landlords can continue to provide the support their tenants and communities need.

At its meeting on 28 July, much of the discussion was taken up with a response to Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Action Group (HARSAG) II recommendations. There was general agreement with its ambitions and principles, with the focus of the discussion that followed being on range of issues regarding practical application of the recommendations. There is a need to consider the whole housing system and housing needs. It was agreed that organisations would feed their responses individually to the Scottish Government, with SFHA offering an overarching submission that will highlight the SHRG's high level concerns.

The other substantial area of discussion was taken up with evictions, and the suggestion that the Scottish Government may prolong the extended notice periods set down in the Coronavirus (Scotland) Act 2020 for a further six months. The housing representatives on the group stressed that evictions were always seen as a last resort, that landlords would never try to evict when a tenant is trying to pay their rent. The focus needs to be on prevention and early intervention; the publication by SFHA of the guidance that came from the North and Islands Hub’s project on Section 11 processes, Preventing Homelessness, Averting Evictions, points to what can be achieved.

The SHRG submitted a response to the Advisory Group on Economic Recovery report regarding Scotland's recovery from Covid-19. You will find the response to the right of this article. 

It was also agreed that, from now on, the SHRG will convene on a fortnightly basis, with the next meeting scheduled for 11 August.

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