Harper Macleod LLP welcomed over 100 attendees to the 13th National Housing Conference, with new Minister for Housing and Welfare, Margaret Burgess MSP, receiving an extremely positive response from the delegates.
The Minister, who was the conference's keynote speaker, set out the Scottish Government's key priorities for housing which included amongst others, the aim to deliver 30,000 affordable homes during the 5-year parliamentary term, a review of construction procurement, and responding to the changes to the welfare benefits system.
Delegates also heard from a distinguished group of speakers including Kay Blair, Chair of the Scottish Housing Regulator, David Jepson, Deputy Chief Executive of Riverside Group, and Elaine Scott of City of Edinburgh Council, and participated in a variety of breakout group sessions which considered funding, welfare reform, social impact bonds, group structures and renewables.
Minister for Housing and Welfare, Margaret Burgess said:
"A vibrant, expanding housing sector can stimulate economic growth by protecting and creating jobs, and supporting regeneration.
"People are the central focus, living in affordable homes that meet their needs.
"This Government is investing at least £760 million in as many high quality homes as possible over the next three years, despite Westminster cuts to our capital budget.
"By emphasising innovations, by bringing back council house building, and by ensuring every pound levers in the maximum investment from elsewhere, we are supporting the construction industry and delivering on our ambitious commitments for new housing supply."
Harper Macleod Chairman (and conference chair), Professor Lorne Crerar said:
"We are delighted that our National Housing Conference continues to go from strength to strength, attracting an outstanding group of speakers and an interactive audience who participated in lively breakout group sessions.
"While the majority of debate and conversations were about the challenges facing the housing sector in light of the upcoming changes to regulation and welfare policy, it was encouraging to hear so much positivity about the sector and people's plans for the future."
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