Comment from Bulletin Reader
Policy & Strategy Manager, Scottish Federation of Housing Associations
Always pleasing to see the good work of Scottish housing associations in community regeneration getting the attention it so justly deserves but I’m a bit concerned to see Senscot say that Wider Role funding has "dried up" when it actually hasn’t.
True, it’s had a substantial cut to £6M for 2011/12 (down from £10M last year) but the fact is that Scotland’s housing associations have lobbied hard over the past few months to secure an additional year’s funding – and the fact that we managed to do that at all was no mean feat in the context of swingeing cuts to the housing and regeneration budget, and in the context of the Concordat where ring-fenced budgets are none too plenty.
So rumours of the demise of Wider Role are rather overstated in this case: it’s still there for another year at least, and there’s still reason to hope that we can influence the agenda beyond the next year too. Housing associations and cooperatives across Scotland have played a vital role in revitalising the communities they service, helping to tackle the roots causes of poverty, to build happy and healthy places that people actually want to live, to create opportunities for employment and economic growth (including incubating community and social enterprises) and we will strive to ensure that this remains the case long into the future, even in these challenging and uncertain times.
Given that the future of Wider Role will be greatly influenced by its conclusions, we await the publication of the Scottish Government’s Regeneration discussion document next week with great interest.