55 episodes

Former Dundee housing convener and housing justice campaigner Jimmy Black and Scottish Housing News editor Kieran Findlay discuss the latest news and chat to influential figures from Scotland's social housing sector.

The Scottish Housing News Podcast Scottish Housing News

    • News

Former Dundee housing convener and housing justice campaigner Jimmy Black and Scottish Housing News editor Kieran Findlay discuss the latest news and chat to influential figures from Scotland's social housing sector.

    55 - The Housing Bill part 2: Homelessness prevention duties with Ewan Aitken

    55 - The Housing Bill part 2: Homelessness prevention duties with Ewan Aitken

    Kieran Findlay and Jimmy Black put the Holyrood turmoil to one side and continue their exploration of various elements of the Scottish Government’s new Housing Bill with a look at proposed new homelessness prevention measures.

    The legislation will introduce an ‘ask and act’ duty on social landlords and other bodies, such as health boards and the police, to ask about a person’s housing situation and take proactive steps to avoid them becoming homeless wherever possible.

    But what could these proactive steps involve, do the measures go far enough or are they asking too much of already stretched resources? 

    Ewan Aitken, the chief executive of homelessness charity Cyrenians, has the answers. Ewan co-chaired the Homelessness Prevention Task and Finish Group, on whose report, arguably, the homelessness elements of the new Housing Bill are based.



    A transcript of this episode is available here: https://www.scottishhousingnews.com/articles/housing-bill-part-2-homelessness-prevention-duties-podcast-transcript

    Jimmy Black has written a blog to accompany the episode here: https://www.scottishhousingnews.com/articles/blacks-blog-homelessness-how-to-ask-act

    Further reading: https://www.scottishhousingnews.com/articles/scottish-government-publishes-new-housing-bill



    Kieran Findlay is the editor of Scottish Housing News. Jimmy Black is a former Dundee housing convener and housing justice campaigner.

    Feedback on this episode and the podcast is welcome via our social media channels:

    ⁠https://twitter.com/ScotHousingNews⁠

    ⁠https://www.linkedin.com/company/28156734/⁠

    ⁠https://www.facebook.com/ScotHousingNews⁠

    Read all our news and sign up for our free daily newsletter at ⁠https://www.scottishhousingnews.com/

    • 26 min
    54 - Housing Bill part 1 Rent controls and tenants' rights with Dr John Boyle

    54 - Housing Bill part 1 Rent controls and tenants' rights with Dr John Boyle

    With the long-awaited Housing Bill finally here, hosts Kieran Findlay and Jimmy Black will dedicate the next four episodes to digest various elements of the legislation, including homelessness and domestic abuse, culminating in an interview with housing minister Paul McLennan. But we begin the series with a discussion on increased rights for private tenants and, arguably the most contentious proposal, rent controls.



    In previous episodes, we’ve heard tenants' union Living Rent say rent controls are absolutely vital to keep rents affordable and prevent people being priced out from living in Scotland’s cities. We’ve also spoken to landlords who argue that the measures will see reduced investment and more landlords leaving the sector, leading to higher costs for tenants.



    To debate the merits of the Housing Bill and its impact on the private rented sector, Kieran Findlay and Jimmy Black speak to Dr John Boyle, the Director of Research & Strategy at Rettie.



    Professor Douglas Robertson also contributed to this episode, but we had audio issues and so we can’t use the recording. However, you can find Douglas’ spirited contribution in the transcript.



    A transcript of this episode is available here: https://www.scottishhousingnews.com/articles/housing-bill-part-1-rent-controls-and-tenants-rights-podcast-transcript



    Jimmy Black has written a blog to accompany the episode here: https://www.scottishhousingnews.com/articles/blacks-blog-rent-controls-mean-well-but-do-they-work



    Further reading:


    https://www.scottishhousingnews.com/articles/scottish-government-publishes-new-housing-bill


    https://www.scottishhousingnews.com/articles/holyrood-committees-launch-joint-consultation-on-new-housing-bill





    Kieran Findlay is the editor of Scottish Housing News. Jimmy Black is a former Dundee housing convener and housing justice campaigner.

    Feedback on this episode and the podcast is welcome via our social media channels:

    ⁠https://twitter.com/ScotHousingNews⁠

    ⁠https://www.linkedin.com/company/28156734/⁠

    ⁠https://www.facebook.com/ScotHousingNews⁠

    Read all our news and sign up for our free daily newsletter at ⁠https://www.scottishhousingnews.com/

    • 28 min
    53 - Shawfair and clean heating networks with Eoghan Maguire

    53 - Shawfair and clean heating networks with Eoghan Maguire

    "Technically heat networks aren't really difficult. It is just large-scale plumbing. The heat's already there, we're just moving it.”

    With the Scottish Government’s New Build Heat Standard now in force, the installation of ‘direct emission’ systems for heating for new build homes and other buildings is now banned in Scotland.

    Effectively, this means any new build applying for a building warrant will not be able to use polluting heating systems like oil and gas boilers and instead be powered by alternatives like heat pumps and heat networks.

    But, how do these clean heating systems operate? And is the industry prepared to meet the huge demand for skills that is coming its way?

    Eoghan Maguire is director of heat networks – Scotland at Vattenfall Heat UK, a company that has formed a joint venture with Midlothian Council to deliver low-carbon heating to thousands of homes, education and retail properties at the new town of Shawfair.

    Eoghan describes the challenges and benefits of incorporating the large-scale project, which he believes can be a catalyst for other heat networks across Scotland.



    A transcript of this episode is available here: https://www.scottishhousingnews.com/articles/shawfair-and-clean-heating-networks-with-eoghan-maguire-podcast-transcript

    Jimmy Black has written a blog to accompany the episode here: https://www.scottishhousingnews.com/articles/blacks-blog-shawfair-can-be-a-catalyst-for-large-scale-clean-heating

    Further reading:

    https://www.scottishhousingnews.com/articles/midlothian-council-and-vattenfall-form-joint-venture-to-deliver-low-carbon-heat-to-homes

    https://www.scottishhousingnews.com/articles/first-pipes-installed-at-shawfair-lowcarbon-heating-project



    Kieran Findlay is the editor of Scottish Housing News. Jimmy Black is a former Dundee housing convener and housing justice campaigner.

    Feedback on this episode and the podcast is welcome via our social media channels:

    ⁠https://twitter.com/ScotHousingNews⁠

    ⁠https://www.linkedin.com/company/28156734/⁠

    ⁠https://www.facebook.com/ScotHousingNews⁠

    Read all our news and sign up for our free daily newsletter at ⁠https://www.scottishhousingnews.com/

    • 35 min
    52 - Why ‘fabric-first’ may be the wrong approach for retrofitting with Fionn Stevenson

    52 - Why ‘fabric-first’ may be the wrong approach for retrofitting with Fionn Stevenson

    “If we have a choice between a tenant having their home flooded or having to put on an extra jumper, which would you recommend?”

    For anyone who has encountered architect Fionn Stevenson over her career, her answer to this question will be obvious. It forms part of her claim that a blanket one-size-fits-all fabric-first approach to retrofitting should make way for a considered make do and mend tactic, which considers and effectively measures the embodied carbon costs of building upgrades.

    According to Fionn, there is plenty low-hanging fruit such as roof and cavity wall insulation still available for housing providers without having to tackle the “expensive faff” of additional external wall insulation.

    A transcript of this episode is available here: https://www.scottishhousingnews.com/articles/why-fabric-first-may-be-the-wrong-approach-for-retrofitting-podcast-transcript

    Jimmy Black has written a blog to accompany the episode here: https://www.scottishhousingnews.com/articles/blacks-blog-make-do-and-mend

    Further reading:


    Housing Fit For Purpose: Performance, Feedback and Learning - https://www.routledge.com/Housing-Fit-For-Purpose-Performance-Feedback-and-Learning/Stevenson/p/book/9781859468241


    LETI Climate Emergency Retrofit Guide - https://www.leti.uk/retrofit


    Fionn's LinkedIn post - https://www.linkedin.com/posts/fionn-stevenson-a3868720_retrofit-thinksmart-everypropertyisdifferent-activity-7149370404007006208-R9bo/



    Kieran Findlay is the editor of Scottish Housing News. Jimmy Black is a former Dundee housing convener and housing justice campaigner.

    Feedback on this episode and the podcast is welcome via our social media channels:

    ⁠https://twitter.com/ScotHousingNews⁠

    ⁠https://www.linkedin.com/company/28156734/⁠

    ⁠https://www.facebook.com/ScotHousingNews⁠

    Read all our news and sign up for our free daily newsletter at ⁠https://www.scottishhousingnews.com/

    • 48 min
    51 - Why it is important to declare a housing emergency with Cllr Jane Meagher and Cllr Allan Casey

    51 - Why it is important to declare a housing emergency with Cllr Jane Meagher and Cllr Allan Casey

    Almost a year since Scotland appointed its first dedicated housing minister, three councils have declared housing emergencies due to mounting pressures in their local housing systems and dozens of others could be set to follow.

    Now housing bodies across Scotland are making a concerted effort to say that it's not just individual regions that are struggling but that the entire country is in the midst of an emergency.

    But what is a housing emergency and why is a declaration important?

    Joining Kieran Findlay and Jimmy Black to discuss their respective situations and whether they think the Scottish Government is taking any notice are Councillor Jane Meagher, the City of Edinburgh Council's housing convener, and Councillor Allan Casey, the city convener for workforce homelessness and addiction services at Glasgow City Council.



    Jimmy Black has written a blog to accompany the episode here: https://www.scottishhousingnews.com/articles/blacks-blog-my-thoughts-on-housing-emergencies



    A transcription of this episode is available here:

    https://www.scottishhousingnews.com/articles/why-it-is-important-to-declare-a-housing-emergency-podcast-transcript



    Further reading:


    https://www.scottishhousingnews.com/articles/council-declares-housing-emergency-in-argyll-and-bute


    https://www.scottishhousingnews.com/articles/partners-pledge-to-tackle-argyll-and-bute-housing-emergency


    https://www.scottishhousingnews.com/articles/edinburgh-confirms-housing-emergency-declaration


    https://www.scottishhousingnews.com/articles/housing-emergency-declared-in-glasgow


    https://www.scottishhousingnews.com/articles/fife-council-on-brink-of-housing-emergency-declaration-amid-record-homelessness


    https://www.scottishhousingnews.com/articles/edinburgh-agrees-action-plan-to-help-address-housing-emergency


    https://www.scottishhousingnews.com/articles/cih-scotland-to-declare-a-scottish-housing-emergency-at-national-conference



    Kieran Findlay is the editor of Scottish Housing News. Jimmy Black is a former Dundee housing convener and housing justice campaigner.

    Feedback on this episode and the podcast is welcome via our social media channels:

    ⁠https://twitter.com/ScotHousingNews⁠

    ⁠https://www.linkedin.com/company/28156734/⁠

    ⁠https://www.facebook.com/ScotHousingNews⁠

    Read all our news and sign up for our free daily newsletter at ⁠https://www.scottishhousingnews.com/

    • 41 min
    50 - The PRS rent adjudication scheme with Susan Aktemel and Calum Sanderson

    50 - The PRS rent adjudication scheme with Susan Aktemel and Calum Sanderson

    With the Tenant Protection Bill’s in-tenancy rent cap and eviction measures due to expire in a matter of weeks, the Scottish Government has proposed an adjudication scheme to ease the transition until a long-awaited Housing Bill comes to pass.

    Under the proposals, the process for rent adjudication will temporarily be modified from April 1st for one year. Any tenant who wishes to dispute a rent increase notice can apply to Rent Service Scotland or the First-tier Tribunal which will set a fair rent based on a taper formula set out in the new regulations.

    But with just weeks before its implementation, it seems neither tenants nor landlords are happy with this new arrangement.

    Jimmy Black and Kieran Findlay speak to Calum Sanderson, a member of the tenants’ union Living Rent, and Susan Aktemel, who founded the UK’s first social enterprise letting agency Homes for Good, to find out if there’s another way.



    Jimmy Black has written a blog to accompany the episode here:


    https://www.scottishhousingnews.com/articles/blacks-blog-prs-uncertainty-benefits-no-one



    Further reading:


    https://www.scottishhousingnews.com/articles/transitional-measures-proposed-as-private-rent-cap-ends



    Kieran Findlay is the editor of Scottish Housing News. Jimmy Black is a former Dundee housing convener and housing justice campaigner.

    Feedback on this episode and the podcast is welcome via our social media channels:

    ⁠https://twitter.com/ScotHousingNews⁠

    ⁠https://www.linkedin.com/company/28156734/⁠

    ⁠https://www.facebook.com/ScotHousingNews⁠

    Read all our news and sign up for our free daily newsletter at ⁠https://www.scottishhousingnews.com/

    • 43 min

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