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1 -2 Jun, DoubleTree By Hilton Glasgow Central

Housing the Future - Annual Conference 2017
DoubleTree By Hilton Glasgow Central

Book Now


Thu 1 - Fri 2, Jun from
10:30 to 15:00 (BST)


36 Cambridge Street
, Glasgow, G2 3HN

Join us as we open the door to a new chapter in housing. Debate the challenges and explore the possibilities of innovative approaches to succession planning, designing for the future and advancements in technology. 

Scotland’s ambition to build 50,000 affordable homes is our opportunity to shape the housing of the future. Housing associations are known for their expertise in future planning for operational and investment decisions, but what about the most important resource of all – our people?

The SFHA annual conference is the place to join fellow innovators to spark ideas and push boundaries to ensure the sector has a future that shines like a beacon of light. It is said tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today. Being ahead of the curve is what housing associations do best – so 2017 should be no different.

This conference will explore our chance to lead on a renewed ambition for the next generation. Who will be leading your association in the future? And how can we ensure organisations develop talent in staff, Boards and Committees to ensure they have the right skills? 

Main Sponsor



The hotel boasts spacious meeting facilities and modern accommodation - all under one roof.  With Glasgow Queen Street and Central Stations closeby and with parking on site and next door the hotel is easy to access by road, rail or air.

Who Can Attend? 

Everybody is welcome to attend the SFHA's Annual Conference 2017 and we will be delighted to see you at the conference. 





Member Discount

  • Book three and bring a colleague for free!

Follow @sfha_hq #sfhaevents for updates and news.

Conference Media Partner

24 Housing is our media partner for the conference. As our media partner, it will promote the conference via print and digital outlets. 24 Housing will have representatives at the conference who may wish to interview speakers, delegates or exhibitors. They may also be photographing the conference, capturing key moments. If you do not wish to be photographed, please inform SFHA staff. Thank you for your co-operation.


Delivered in Partnership

Scotland Excel large Utility Aid Sidey Logo SHARE Law at Work SPA logo Ark Consultancy MCL Create 24 Housing Media

Speakers & Biographies

Neil McLean  profile image

Neil McLean
Social Enterprise

Neil has been the CEO of the Social Enterprise Academy since 2008.  During this time the Academy has become the largest Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM) Centre in Scotland, annually supporting around 1,200 people from across Scotland to develop their leadership and entrepreneurship skills.   The Academy is now expanding internationally and has recently opened centres with partners in Australia, South Africa and Malawi.


Neil chairs the Implementation Group of the Social Enterprise Strategy for Edinburgh and also is an active member of the Leadership and Governance Forum, a national body reviewing best practice in Governance across the Third Sector.  Recent board experience includes Impact Arts, Scotland’s leading arts based Social Enterprise and First Port, Scotland’s funding and business support agency for new start social entrepreneurs.

Calum Macaulay profile image

Calum Macaulay
Albyn Housing

Calum Macaulay is Chief Executive of Albyn Housing, the largest Highland-based RSL, with over 3,000 homes.  He has led Albyn through over 15 years of sustained growth and innovation.Calum promotes the values of the social enterprise business model, and has filled a number of overnance roles in the that sector, including Chairman of HISEZ CIC (from which he has recently retired) and he’s on the Board of WASPS Ltd.

Calum has a degree from Southampton University, a Housing Admin Diploma from Stirling University, and a 35 year career in the movement.  He moved to the Highlands when he started for Albyn in 1991.  

Alan Forsythe profile image

Alan Forsythe

Alan Forsythe, Training & Development Manager, SHARE – Alan has been Training and Development Manager at SHARE for almost 12 years after working in community development in Tanzania East Africa. He believes learning should never be boring or dull but engaging, informative, transformative. Alan has newly introduced factoring qualifications to SHARE and leads on other accredited training such as ILM and City & Guilds.

Olwyn Gaffney profile image

Olwyn Gaffney

Olwyn Gaffney, Training & Development Manager, SHARE - Since 2000, Olwyn Gaffney, has worked at SHARE, and has been in the learning and development field for over 30 years.  She was instrumental in developing a customised award and e-learning for Committee/Board members, as well as gaining accreditation for SHARE to deliver Modern Apprenticeships in Housing and Business Administration.  Olwyn has a degree in learning and development and embraces lifelong learning herself believing that learning is continuous and should be fun and engaging for all.

Najimee Parveen  profile image

Najimee Parveen

Najimee Parveen has been the Director of Positive Action Training in Housing, PATH (Scotland) since 1999. PATH provides mentoring, coaching, leadership programmes and  structured work programmes in collaboration with registered social landlords alongside an academic qualification which enable trainees to access employment in the Housing Sector. The traineeships have been extremely successful and approximately 85% of PATH  trainees gain employment post placement.

Before  joining PATH, Najimee was Policy and Campaigns Officer with the Commission for Racial Equality in Scotland and worked on a number of campaigns including “Lets Kick Racism Out of Football” and the “Visible Womens’ Campaign” which was designed to challenge stereotypes and promote positive role models of BME women.

 Prior to leaving the Commission Najimee was its Acting Head for 3 months. Najimee’s background is Education and she spent a number of years teaching and lecturing in Primary Education, Further Education and Higher Education. Najimee has also held various Office Bearer positions on the Committee of Positive Action in Housing and was its Chair for 3 years.

Stephen Good  profile image

Stephen Good
Construction Scotland Innovation Centre

As Chief Executive of CSIC, Stephen and his team champion innovation and connect Scotland’s construction industry to deliver transformational change.


A qualified architect with 10 years experience in private practice, Stephen joined construction group CCG in 2007 to deliver their £12million state-of-the-art offsite manufacturing facility, now regarded as one of the UK’s most advanced. In 2010, Stephen founded the Building Futures Lab, CCG’s specialist sustainability consultancy.


Since the innovation centre’s launch in October 2014, Stephen has grown CSIC from a start-up idea to a trusted delivery partner which this September, launches the “Innovation Factory”, an open access prototyping and training facility located at Hamilton International Technology Park.

Lesley Baird profile image

Lesley Baird

Lesley has worked with TPAS for 20 years, in that time she has worked with tenant and landlord organisations all over Scotland, supporting and building participation.   Scotland has a long and strong history of participation, happy to say that TPAS has been instrumental in developing best practice across Scotland, in rural, urban, island settings and with people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities.

Lynda Towers profile image

Lynda Towers
Morton Fraser LLP

Lynda Is Director of Public Law at Morton Fraser LLP.. She has over 30 years of government law experience most recently as Solicitor to the Scottish Parliament. She advised the Presiding officer, the Clerk and the Committees of the Parliament on all issues, from the competence of Scottish Parliament legislation, it's interaction with the reserved regime under the Scotland Act 1998 and on the day to day legal and policy requirements of running an active legislature.

Prior to moving to the Parliament Lynda spent seven years as Deputy Solicitor to the Scottish Government. Her areas of responsibility covered EU implementation including environmental law, planning law, local authority law, procurement and EU coordination.. As Deputy Solicitor Lynda was involved in high profile litigation in the EU and in the UK. She has a good understanding of the working of government in Scotland and the UK

At Morton Fraser, Lynda has been advising clients on Brexit implications for Scottish public, corporate and private sector bodies and on wider public law issues."

Simon Carr profile image

Simon Carr

Simon has worked in the housing sector for over 35 years. Simons work has been in a variety of settings which include cooperatives community controlled housing associations and for over 20 years Simon was senior officer at Loretto Housing Association who provide a range of housing and care services to vulnerable groups.

More recently Simon has worked as an Improvement Associate with the IHUB at Healthcare Improvement Scotland working on a diverse range of issues including delayed hospital discharge,social isolation as well assisting housing associations explore the opportunities that health and social care integration offer the housing sector.

Wendy Farmer profile image

Wendy Farmer
Port of Leith Housing Association

Wendy has worked within the affordable housing sector for nearly 30 years, in various capacities both in London and Edinburgh.  Before joining Port of Leith Housing Association as Development Manager in 2011, she worked within the development team at Dunedin Canmore Housing Association and, prior to that, on City of Edinburgh Council’s environmental improvements programme.  In London, Wendy worked in regeneration initiatives at Southwark Council, and in new build development for CDS Co-operatives.  Wendy also spent two years working for a housing co-op for Latin American refuges and migrants in north London.  She started her housing career as a housing officer, which included a year as resident estate manager at Peabody Trust.  

William Fleming  profile image

William Fleming
Scottish Government

William Fleming has worked in housing policy in the Scottish Government for 11 years.  He is currently head of the Housing Services Policy Unit in the Government’s Housing and Regeneration Directorate.  The unit is responsible for developing and implementing policy and legislation on the quality of housing services provided by social landlords and landlords in the private rented sector.  As this includes responsibility for legislation on the regulation of social landlords, the unit is working on the bill that will deal with the issues raised by the ONS decision to classify RSLs to the public sector.  Before working in housing policy, William worked in policy on the water industry. 

John McMorrow  profile image

John McMorrow
Easthall Park


John has almost 35 years’ experience in  public sector housing and is the Director of Easthall Park Housing Co-operative, a Fully Mutual Housing Co-operative based in Greater Easterhouse. 


In the last 25 years John has supported the Co-operative’s Management Committee deliver excellent housing services whilst providing a range of training and employment opportunities and co-ordinating a variety of community activities.


The Co-operative has won much recognition for its work and in the last year achieved IIP Platinum award and will outline the work undertaken to support the Co-operative’s succession plans. 

Frank Sweeney  profile image

Frank Sweeney
Cunninghame Housing Association

A Master of Business Administration, a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Housing and an affiliate of the Institute of Risk Management, Frank has been Director and then Chief Executive of Cunninghame Housing Association since 1990.  Prior to that he held several senior positions within the Housing Association sector.  Since 1990 he has, with his Board of Management, led the organisation (then with 65 properties) to continuous success and it is now regarded as one of the leading Housing Associations and Social Enterprises in Ayrshire with over 2500 properties in management, and two award winning subsidiary companies (Citrus Energy Ltd and Cunninghame Furniture Recycling Company).  During the next 5 years CHA hope to build a further 2,000 new properties.

Dr Friederike Ziegler profile image

Dr Friederike Ziegler

Dr Ziegler is a geographer with a long-standing interest in research on environments of ageing. She gained her PhD from the University of Durham in 2010 and has since worked with older people in Manchester, York and Sheffield. She has published widely on older people’s mobility, social participation in both rural and deprived urban environments, and on the use of participatory research methods. From 2014-2016 Dr Ziegler collaborated with health researchers, architects and planners at the University of Sheffield on the DWELL project which over a period of 18 months co-designed housing with older people in the city. This led to the publication of a new design guide for downsizing in later life widely publicised by the Housing LIN. Dr Ziegler is now based at the University of the Highlands and Islands in Inverness and currently evaluating the wellbeing effects of the innovative FIT Homes in Alness.

Dr Ziegler will discuss DWELL findings, including a thought-provoking analysis of interviews with older people’s housing developers.

Steven Tolson profile image

Steven Tolson
Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and Valuation Surveyor

Steven Tolson is a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and Valuation Surveyor.  Steven specialises in residential and healthcare development providing advice to range of private, public and 3rd sector clients.  Steven is the immediate past Chair of RICS Scotland and has for over 20 years held visiting lecturer posts at a number of Scottish Universities.  As a property economist, Steven has recently been very active in community regeneration producing reports on community action planning, housing for older people, housing for people with dementia and a comprehensive study on the role of Co-housing and how this can contribute towards fixing our current housing challenges.

Mandy Littlewood  profile image

Mandy Littlewood
Mandy Littlewood Social Research and Consulting

Mandy Littlewood is an independent housing researcher with over 20 years experience in looking at housing need, affordability and poverty. She is Mandy is an Honorary Fellow with i-SPHERE (Institute for Social Policy, Housing, Environment and Real Estate) at Heriot Watt University and Associate with the Indigo House Group. Her current work includes a study of Destitution in the UK, with Heriot Watt, for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and work looking at the extension of the Local Housing Allowance cap to social renting, with Indigo House, for the Chartered Institute of Housing and the Scottish Government. Mandy has recently been involved with a team from Indigo House in updating the SFHA Rent Guidance. As part of that work, Mandy has developed an affordability tool for landlords, which she is showcasing here today. 

Chris Thomson  profile image

Chris Thomson
Castle Rock Edinvar Housing Association

Chris is our Head of Property Maintenance that includes our Procurement and Investment requirements, Voids and Repairs. Within the team we also have an in-house contractor delivery a multi-disciplined contracting service.

Chris has worked within the social housing sector for around 25 years. Before joining Castle Rock Edinvar in 2009, Chris has worked with other Housing Association managing cross functional teams including Housing Management and Development.

Part of his role with Places for People Group has seen new initiatives introduced to maximise the use of the existing assets and addressing many of the hard to treat properties from its diverse asset base to meet EESSH standards.

Chris is a Trustee of the Crags Sports Centre, a community managed resource within the Southside of Edinburgh.

John McLaren  profile image

John McLaren
Fiscal Affairs Scotland


Professor John McLaren was an economist for over 10 years in the Civil Service at the UK Treasury and in the Scottish Office, before becoming a Special Adviser to the First Minister in the Scottish Parliament. He then helped develop and direct the work of independent think tanks, the Centre for Public Policy for Regions (CPPR) and Fiscal Affairs Scotland.

His areas of particular interest are the Scottish economy and budgetary issues and he regularly comments on these areas in the Scottish and UK media.

He currently runs the 'Scottish Trends' economic website as well as undertaking a variety of consultancy work.

Lara Friedman  profile image

Lara Friedman
Social Enterprise Academy

Head of Innovation and Learning

Lara is a specialist in learning and development, leadership, change management and facilitation, with over 20 years’ experience working in the public, private and third sectors. She is passionate about supporting organisational and individual growth, working closely with organisations to understand their unique needs and designing approaches to enable them to thrive and flourish.

David Bookbinder profile image

David Bookbinder

David has been Director of GWSF since June 2014. Before that he held policy posts at CIH Scotland, the Scottish Government (temporarily) and SFHA, which he joined in 1993. Prior to coming to Scotland his housing posts down south included the London Borough of Hillingdon and Age Concern England.

Mark Turley profile image

Mark Turley

Mark is a consultant working in the fields of housing, health, social care and property. He is currently leading a project for the Scottish Government which aims to ensure best value is achieved from investment through the Affordable Housing Supply Programme. Other clients include housing associations and various health and social care organisations. Mark was previously a director in local government.”

Stephen Brannagan profile image

Stephen Brannagan
Scotland Excel

Stephen Brannagan is Head of Customer and Business Services at Scotland Excel. As a member of our Executive Team, he champions a culture of consultation, communication and collaboration with our members. 

Stephen was appointed to his current role in May 2015. Prior to this, he was Programme Manager for Scotland Excel’s reform team providing procurement capability assessment and change management services to local authorities. Stephen has worked in a broad range of roles in the public and private sector, including 8 years running his own award-winning SME business.

Supported by an experienced multi-discipline team, Stephen is leading the delivery of a Scottish Government funded project to help housing associations meet the requirements of new public procurement regulations and maximise the value of their procurement spend.

Stephen holds an Executive MBA from the University of the West of Scotland and is undertaking a PhD in Entrepreneurial Leadership.

Claire Ford  profile image

Claire Ford

Claire has been with Quality Scotland since 2006 starting as an Account Manager and rising to become Chief Executive in 2015. Claire has an MA in International Business and French from The University of Edinburgh, having spent her third year of her degree studying in Paris.

Her broad business experience includes spells in the private sector before joining Quality Scotland in 2006. Since joining, Claire has had responsibility for the Third Sector Network and subsequently Public Sector members, including working on engagement with the Scottish Government and with Local Authorities. Prior to appointment as Chief Executive, Claire was Chief Operating Officer responsible for Membership Services for all sectors and for the launching of the Quality Scotland Training Academy.

Cormac Russell profile image

Cormac Russell
Nurture Development

He is a recognised leader in the Asset-Based Community Development movement, and
a faculty member of the Asset-Based Community Development Institute. Over the last
20 years Cormac has worked in over 30 countries around the world.

He is passionate about the proliferation of community-driven change and citizencentred democracy, and has supported hundreds of communities to make ABCD visible
through what he calls ABCD Neighbourhood Learning Sites.
His motto, paraphrasing Benjamin Franklin, is: ‘When it comes to Community Building,
well done is better than well said’

Conference Exhibitors

  • SPA
  • EVH
  • CIH
  • CIT- BBA
  • SSE 

If you are interested in exhibiting contact Craig McMillan on: cmcmillan@sfha.co.uk

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