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GWSF annual conference - Keeping our communities resilient

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GWSF annual conference - Keeping our communities resilient

Date: 23 November 2018 09:15 am - 04:00 pm
Course duration: 1 day
Venue: Grand Central Hotel, 99 Gordon Street, Glasgow , G1 3SF
Costs: Members £195.00 / Non-Members £250.00

As usual the GWSF annual conference this year will feature an interesting and diverse programme packed with great plenary speakers and stimulating workshop sessions.

As well as a variety of exhibitors this years conference will also feature a members’ exhibition space which will include a ‘then and now’ photo gallery, a ‘greatest achievements’ wall, and a memorabilia stand. 

Please ensure your staff and Committee/Board members book soon as places always fill up fast.

Download the programme HERE

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Event programme

9.15 – 9.45

Registration and Tea/Coffee/Pastries

9.45 – 9.50

Welcome from the Chair - Helen Moore

9.50 – 10.00

Standing up for community based housing associations – GWSF Director, David Bookbinder

10.00 – 10.30


Ministerial Address

Kevin Stewart MSP, Minister for Local Government, Housing and Planning  (tbc)

10.30 – 11.15

Guy Standing, Professorial Research Associate at SOAS, University of London/ founder member and honorary co-president of the Basic Income Earth Network.  

Basic Income – and how we can make it happen

A passionate campaigner, Professor Standing has been spearheading a UK and international movement to call for a basic minimum income standard. He talks about the ‘precariat’ we have created – young people brought up to expect unpredictable work patterns and zero hours etc. in an economy increasingly dominated by multi-national companies.


Break and Exhibition Viewing

11.45 – 1.00

Workshop sessions (see below)

1.00 – 2.00

Lunch and Exhibition Viewing

2.05 – 2.30

Still improving our community 30 years on – the movie!

Staff and committee members from Hawthorn Housing Co-operative will introduce the film which celebrates the Co-operative’s 30th anniversary and offer some reflections on the journey so far as well as future plans.

2.30 - 3.00

Dr Neil Hamlet, Consultant in Public Health Medicine, NHS Fife

Why a good home means better health

Everyone in the CCHA sector knows the health and well-being benefits associated with having a good home, and how many activities housing associations are involved in which help to support positive physical and mental health outcomes for tenants. But sometimes it feels like everyone else is playing catch-up! How can we help to change this with colleagues in health and other sectors?

3.00 – 3.30

Craig Sanderson, Chief Executive, Link Group.

What did housing associations ever do for us?

After 43 years at Link, Craig is retiring around the end of the year - retiring but not shy! We didn’t want to let him go without hearing his thoughts on the changes he’s seen over the years. What does he think are the housing association sector’s best achievements, what does it still have left to achieve, and what would he do differently if he was Prime Minister?

3.30 – 3.40

Final thoughts/thanks
David Bookbinder GWSF Director / Helen Moore, GWSF Chair


1. Revising the regulatory framework

This year our Conference falls in the middle of the Scottish Housing Regulator’s consultation on the changes it proposes to make to how it regulates housing associations and local authorities. The changes include the introduction of annual assurance statements, and guidance on notifications which will replace the ending of the current system of consents for disposals and constitutional changes etc.

Facilitated by staff/board members of the Scottish Housing Regulator, with input from GWSF reps too

2. Surgery - Universal Credit

Some GWSF members have been dealing with Full Service Universal Credit for two years, but others – including all associations in Glasgow – are preparing for rollout between September and December 2018. It’s all but impossible to prevent arrears levels rising, with built-in delays and new pressures on tenants as they receive their benefit direct from DWP. UC expert Bill Irvine gives his top tips for avoiding some of the many potential pitfalls in how UC is administered, and answers questions on practical issues associations have come across as they try to mitigate the worst effects.

Bill Irvine, UC Advice and Advocacy Limited

3. Investing in Tenements – tackling the mixed tenure headache

Housing associations generally think of themselves as good property managers and factors. But, as GWSF’s recent membership survey has shown, repair and improvement work to commonly owned blocks is often foiled because owners can’t or won’t pay their share of the cost. How can associations overcome some of the barriers? Could the new ‘missing share’ powers help? A greater focus on acquisitions? And as the popularity of the Scottish Government’s pilot’ equity loan’ scheme grows, could this be part of the answer to grants being less common these days?

Paul Hush, Southside HA
Brian Parr, Scotland’s Housing Network

4. Feedback on the first phase of our mentoring project

One of the key recommendations to come out of the recent succession planning research the Forum carried out alongside EVH and SHARE was the need to provide support for both staff and committee members in the CCHA movement. In response we were delighted to set up a mentoring service provided by members for members. In this session facilitators, mentors and mentees will talk about their experiences of the programme so far and you can find out how to get involved as we roll the service out to all members.

Facilitated by Susan Campbell, Recruitment Manager, EVH/Adele Fraser, Chief Executive, Linstone HA, with input from mentoring programme participants

5. CCHAs Minding the Gap: More than good landlords and wider role

Over the past few years shrinking local authority budgets have meant that many CCHAs have become increasingly involved in providing a range of activities, services and partnerships which do not fit neatly into either their landlord or community anchor role. Essentially CCHAs are left ‘minding the gap’ when public services withdraw. These are often practical, hands-on services which make a real improvement to communities, and are delivered ‘close to home’ at a local level. This session will consider the implications of this trend and showcase innovative examples.

Facilitated by Colleen Rowan, Membership & Policy Officer, GWSF and with case-studies from Forum members