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About the SFHA

SFHA is the membership body for, and collective voice of, housing associations and co‑operatives in Scotland. 

We exist to represent, support and connect our members. Our purpose has never been as important as it will be over the next three years, as we work together following the coronavirus pandemic. 

In these unprecedented times, our vision is that our members are central to Scotland’s social and economic recovery and renewal. It is everyone’s right to live in a safe, warm and affordable home, in a thriving community. Our members are uniquely positioned as community anchors across Scotland, supporting people and their communities. 

Our mission is to sustain and strengthen the impact our members have on people and communities across Scotland.  

What we do

SFHA is the membership body for, and collective voice of, housing associations and co‑operatives in Scotland.

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SFHA Strategy 2021–24: Shaping our futures together

Our four strategic aims for 2021–2024 are as follows: 

  • We identify and grasp high‑profile opportunities to connect and represent affordable housing with partners and the public around key policy areas, enabling positive change which no one organisation can do alone. 

  • We pursue efficient and effective ways to support and connect our members around shared and common business issues, building on our strength in numbers and being creative in our solutions. 

  • We maintain a focus on the future, recognising sustainability relies on diverse and aspirational leaders able to understand trends, acknowledge uncertainty and anticipate potential futures. 

  • We ensure SFHA is financially strong and increasingly agile to new challenges and opportunities during ongoing uncertainty, remaining a responsible and stable resource for our members. 

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Our strategic themes

Our four strategic themes for 2021–2024 are:

Enabling change 


Pursuing solutions 


Future-focused 


A stable, agile SFHA 


 

Enabling change 

Our members identified three key policy areas for the next three years: 

  • Delivering and managing affordable housing supply (both existing stock and new build)  
  • Tackling poverty and inequality 
  • Climate change emergency and the transition to net zero carbon  

 

To enable positive change which no one organisation can do alone, during 2021–24, SFHA will increase the visible impact of our and our members’ work in our prioritised policy areas through: 

  • Clear, well evidenced and up to date key asks that catch the attention of media, decision makers and the public 
  • Effective relationships that foster open dialogue and, where needed, negotiation 
  • Opportunities that strengthen our collective evidence base and raise the profile of our members’ social and economic value. 

 

Pursuing solutions 

Our members identified shared and common business issues: 

  • Business resilience – financial stability, compliance and governance 
  • Customer experience – service design, customer engagement and digital transformation 
  • Operational delivery and efficiency – working practices, housing management and development. 

 

To build on our members’ strength in numbers and to be creative in our solutions, during 2021–24, SFHA will increase active engagement around these key business issues through:

  • High quality, easily accessible and up-to-date guidance and other resources that offer expert knowledge and practical support 
  • A mix of in-person and online opportunities that help members learn, network and share best practice from wherever they are 
  • Exploring and testing new ideas, including those that could save our members time and money. 

 

Future-focused 

To sustain member organisations’ longer-term success, during 2021–24, SFHA will help shape and support future sector leadership and preparations for strategic action through: 

  • New opportunities to understand social and economic trends and facilitated space to explore potential future scenarios 
  • Promotion of housing as a career path and volunteering option of choice, helping attract and retain talent 
  • A focus on strengthening governance and succession, including support for those new to governing bodies. 

 

A stable, agile SFHA 

To remain a responsible and stable resource for our members over time, SFHA will seek to increase and ethically invest our income through: 

  • Diversifying our income streams, reducing reliance on membership fees and related risk 
  • Better use of our data and member feedback to make more effective decisions and improve performance 
  • A focus on our people and developing agile ways of working to ensure we can adapt and grow with our membership. 

Our values

While working at pace, for, and on behalf of, our members, we will be professional, agile, collaborative and empathetic.

Professional: We demonstrate a high level of professionalism by being reliable, honest and trustworthy.


Agile: We are agile, adapting to changing needs and circumstances while energetically seeking positive progress.


Collaborative: We collaborate with each other, our members and partners.


Empathetic: We nurture empathy, being aware of, respecting and understanding other points of view.


 

Six measures of success

These measures will be reported in key SFHA publications from 2021–22:

  • Member satisfaction: Emphasising what our members think about SFHA based on the indicator ‘% satisfaction with membership’
  • Membership reach: Focusing on maintaining SFHA’s collective voice based on the indicator ‘members’ social rent homes as a % of Scottish total’
  • Influencing policy: Measuring our success in influencing policy across members’ priority areas of delivering and managing affordable housing supply (both existing stock and new build), tackling poverty and inequality, climate change and the transition to net zero carbon
  • Knowledge growth: Representing our learning culture based on the indicator ‘% of participating members who agree they “gained new knowledge applicable to their work”’
  • Diversifying income: Reinforcing the importance of financial stability and efficiency based on the indicator ‘membership fees as a % of revenue’
  • Solving member challenges: Focusing on activity and outcomes based on the indicator ‘% completion of annual business plan deliverables’.

Company information

The SFHA is a private company limited by guarantee, first registered in 1975. Though we are separate from other federations in the UK, we work closely with the National Housing Federation (England); Community Housing Cymru (Wales); and the Northern Ireland Federation of Housing Associations (NIFHA), as well as Housing Europe. 

Only housing associations which are registered associations under the Housing Act 2010 –that is, with the Scottish Housing Regulator – may be members of the SFHA.

Board and staff

Our members elect a Board of 12 non-executive Directors, and that Board governs the organisation on behalf of members. The Board is accountable to members for ensuring that the SFHA is fit for purpose, uses its resources effectively and maximises its reach and impact. The Board is governed by rules set out in the Articles of Association, most recently updated in 2015 and available to members.

Board Directors may be senior staff or governing body members of member associations and are elected from one of four constituencies. Each Director has a term of office of three years and can serve for a maximum of nine years. The Board meets not less than four times a year. 

The Board annually elects its office-bearers – Chair, Vice-Chair, and Chair of Finance, Audit and Risk.

The Board employs a Chief Executive who is responsible for leading and managing staff of the organisation to deliver the strategy set by the Board. The CEO and Executive Team lead the day-to-day work of the organisation under the headings of Public Affairs, Business Development and Corporate Services. 

Our Board and staff recognise and value accountability to members for the manner in which we operate.

Click here to meet the SFHA Board

Click here to meet the SFHA Staff

Key publications

We publish each year a members’ brochure outlining plans for the year ahead, as well as a Corporate Annual Report and Annual Accounts and Auditors’ Report within six months of each year end through our AGM.

A summary of our accounts is filed at Companies House and is available to members.

The current auditors to the SFHA are Wylie and Bissett.

SFHA Annual Report 2020/21

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Below is a list of our sector partners with links to their websites:

Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH)
www.cih.org

Scottish Housing Regulator (SHR)
www.scottishhousingregulator.gov.uk

Glasgow and West of Scotland Forum of Housing Associations (GWSF)
www.gwsf.org.uk

EVH
www.evh.org.uk

SHARE
www.share.org.uk

Shelter
www.shelter.org.uk

Scottish Government
www.gov.scot

National Housing Federation
www.housing.org.uk

Northern Ireland Federation of Housing Associations (NIFHA)
www.nifha.org

Community Housing Cymru
www.chcymru.org.uk

Joint Improvement Team (JIT)
www.jitscotland.org.uk

Homes for Scotland
www.homesforscotland.com

TPAS Scotland
www.tpasscotland.org.uk

Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO)
www.scvo.org.uk

Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA)
www.cosla.gov.uk

Association of Local Authority Chief Housing Officers (ALACHO)
www.alacho.org

Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors
www.rics.org

Housing Europe
www.housingeurope.eu

FAQs 

Read more commonly asked questions about the SFHA.

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