CIH Scotland calls for housing to be at the heart of any loneliness and isolation strategy
The Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) Scotland has called for more innovative policies to address loneliness in Scotland, recommending that the Government continues to invest in social housing organisations to allow them to provide vital support services to their tenants and communities while keeping rents affordable.
In its response to the Scottish Government’s consultation, CIH Scotland also notes that cohousing communities often support strong networks with residents, providing mutual support and the opportunity for social interaction. However, they add that barriers including access to capital and land availability are inhibiting their development.
They recommend the Scottish Government develops a framework to support people who are considering this option and that it is informed by established cohousing models in Europe and the rest of the world.
Policy and Practice Manager, Ashley Campbell said
“The links between home, health and loneliness are undeniable. Cohousing is common across much of Europe, North America and Japan and helps prolong independence and reduce loneliness as it allows residents to take control and decide how they want to live their lives. Indeed today, 1 percent of the Danish population, about 50,000 people, live in cohousing.
“However, the establishment of cohousing options in Scotland has been slow. While one group is making progress towards establishing a new development for older people in Glasgow, often cohousing groups struggle to progress from the initial idea to establishing their community.
“As such, we are calling for the Scottish Government to consider how cohousing groups can be better supported to navigate the process of accessing land, planning and funding. These issues could be addressed through the upcoming local housing strategy guidance or in response to this consultation.
“Every day, social landlords are supporting their tenants and the wider community, and we see cohousing as an extension of this principle by giving people a more direct say in planning ahead and making sure they are actively involved in the long term.”
Notes to Editors
1. The Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) is the independent voice for housing and the home of professional standards. Our goal is simple – to provide housing professionals with the advice, support and knowledge they need to be brilliant. CIH is a registered charity and not-for-profit organisation. This means that the money we make is put back into the organisation and funds the activities we carry out to support the housing sector. We have a diverse membership of people who work in both the public and private sectors, in 20 countries on five continents across the world. Further information is available at www.cih.org
2. You can read CIH Scotland’s response to the Scottish Government consultation on ‘A Connected Scotland: Tackling social isolation and loneliness and building stronger social connections’ here.
3. For more information, please contact CIH Scotland at 0131 225 4544 or email firstname.lastname@example.org