Scottish Housing Day is a time to celebrate affordable homes in Scotland and what makes them great. This year’s theme is the value of social housing which is extremely apt for 2020. If the pandemic that swept the world has taught us anything, it’s that having a safe and comfortable home is more important than ever.
We spoke to two very different customers throughout Scotland to find out what the value of social housing means to them.
Ron Bowes, from Roysth, (above) has been a Home Group customer for over 20 years and has just been named as a new Scottish board member.
“I’ve been involved in the Viewpoint team since 2018 and have contributed to the customer promise assessments, estate walkabouts, customer forums, workshops, conferences, communications and contractor meetings through England and Scotland. I’ve always enjoyed meeting other people and being part of the viewpoint team means I can be involved in communications going out to customers,” he said.
“I decided to take involvement further by applying to be a member of Home Group’s board in Scotland. In July this year, I found out I was successful and was formally appointed to the board at the end of August”
For me, the value of social housing is that I can start a new challenge in my life and make a difference to customers just like me.”
Paul Smith, from Dundee (right) found a home with Home Group earlier this year after being homeless.
“Social housing is invaluable to me as it got me back to Dundee in a secure and safe home,” he said. “I was living in Edinburgh but was desperate to get back and managed to get a bed and breakfast for six months. I then moved into supportive accommodation which I didn’t find supportive at all. There was a lot of drug use being ignored so I knew I had to get out.”
Paul made a desperate plea on a Dundee community group on Facebook to ask for help in getting accommodation. Luckily for Paul, Home Group housing manager, Stephanie Tynan, was also on the group and stepped up to help.
“It was a big step for me to reach out to people for help but I’m so glad I did. Steph got in touch straight away and offered me a lifeline,” said Paul. “Housing associations like Home Group have such value for people like me who just need a bit of help to get back into a stable home.”