HousingScot Oct 2016

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HousingScot An independent publication from canongate.org


Kevin Stewart on Government’s vision


Policy & Delivery Group’s Tom Barclay writes

Distributed with The Times Scotland 20 October 2016


How to release £30bn into the housing market


Five ideas to digitally disrupt construction

Victoria’s new era Homes for the future in historic hospital


housingscot briefing

20 October 2016

HousingScot HousingScot is an independent publication by BrandScotland. Contents

2 BRIEFING. 4 government. 5 industry. 6 productivity. 7 retirement. 8 sanctuary group. 10 world view. 11 SFHA. 12 farmer review. 13 cruden group. 14 digital. 15 weslo housing management.

‘Modernise or die’ warning Construction industry given wake-up call By William Peakin

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Britain’s construction industry faces “inexorable decline” unless radical steps are taken to address its longstanding problems, according to an independent review commissioned by two UK Government departments. The Farmer Review of the UK Construction Labour Model highlights construction’s “dysfunctional training model, its lack of innovation and collaboration as well as its non-existent research and development culture”. Low productivity continues to hamper the sector, while recent high levels of cost inflation, driven by a shortage of workers, has stalled numerous housing schemes in the UK as they become too expensive to build. Commissioned by the UK Government’s Department for Communities and Local Government and Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the review was led by Mark Farmer, chief executive of Cast, a real estate and construction consultancy. Writing in HousingScot, Farmer says: “In accepting the daunting challenge of leading the review of the UK construction labour model, I was very clear in my mind that this had to be an

exercise that led to change. This was never going to be just another report about the ‘construction skills crisis’ in isolation, it had to look much deeper at the fundamentals of how we deliver and why. “There are numerous studies that analyse the well-rehearsed woes of the construction industry. Many also look to exemplars of activity to illustrate how things might be done at scale in a Utopian world. “These approaches are both important but only in the context of how we then use that knowledge to effect modernization and improve our industry at a strategic level. “This is about creating a vibrant, re-skilled, fully integrated, more predictable and productive industry such that traditional working and new approaches can co-exist and complement each other, driving much wider longer-term benefits.” The report says there is a need to better align the needs of construction firms and the businesses who hire them. Among the review’s 10 recommendations are: l Using the residential development sector as a pilot programme to drive forward the large scale use of pre-manufactured construction, for example, through off-site built or modular housing; l A wholesale reform of the current

“There’s a very real danger of the construction sector going into an inexorable decline” according to real estate and construction consultant Mark Farmer

Construction Industry Training Board; l Government to use its education, fiscal, housing and planning policy measures to initiate change and create the right conditions that will support the construction sector’s modernisation. l A proposal for the medium term is a “carrier bag charge” style behavioural deterrent scheme in which clients could avoid paying a levy by commissioning construction work in a more responsible way. Farmer said: “The construction industry is in dire need of change. What is clear to me following the nine months spent conducting this review is that carrying on as we are is simply not an option. “With digital technology advancements pushing ahead in almost every other industry and with the construction labour pool coming under serious pressure, the time has come for action. The construction industry doesn’t have the impetus needed for this change, it requires external action to initiate change. “Unless we find some way of promoting innovation in construction and making the work less labour intensive and more attractive to new entrants, there’s a very real danger of the construction sector going into an inexorable decline over the next few years.” Not just another ‘must do better’ school report: p12

Housing innovation and tech showcase The Chartered Institute of Housing Scotland is hosting an event in Glasgow next week which will bring people from across the sector to share ideas. The showcase will feature new products and services and and best practice examples from a range of housing organisations and their suppliers. The event will look at: l Improving the lives and wellbeing of tenants and service users – through digital inclusion, smart homes/cities, fuel poverty,

healthcare and adaptive technology; l Improving the productivity and efficiency for staff working for housing providers – using big data, Internet of Things, software/hardware IT solutions, worker safety and training; l Improving the quality and functionality of new and existing properties – including eco/ energy efficiency products, security products, retrofit solutions, building methods and offsite construction. The day comprises two main panel sessions

which will examine key challenges around innovation and technology. Attendees will also be able to enjoy more than 10 breakout sessions where service providers and their customers will present case studies on how their businesses have benefited by utilising innovative approaches to tackling challenges. CIH Scotland Housing Innovation & Technology Showcase, 27 October, Glasgow http://bit.ly/2e2opng


20 October 2016

housingscot 3

Scotland making ‘real progress’ on home standard More than four in 10 Britons live in homes that do not reach acceptable standards in cleanliness, safety and space, according to the housing charity Shelter. Its new Living Home Standard considers affordability, decent conditions, stability, space and neighbourhood. The charity asked 1,691 adults about their homes. Shelter concluded affordability was the biggest problem, and said people should “thrive” in homes, not just “get by”. Shelter and Ipsos

MORI developed the Living Home Standard through a series of workshops and surveys with the public, with support from British Gas. The measurement of homes meeting the standard was calculated based on results from a survey of 1,961 adults across the UK. “Some of the main policy recommendations that this new standard helps to inform at a Britain-wide level are already issues that Shelter Scotland has worked constructively and successfully with government, partners and

stakeholders to make, inform or secure real progress on here in Scotland in recent years,” said Shelter Scotland’s head of communications and policy Adam Lang. “[They include] private rented sector tenancy reform; a commitment to deliver more affordable and socially rented homes; a commitment to the introduction of a new Warm Homes Bill in the coming months and the ongoing development of a new cross tenure Common Quality Standard for all homes in Scotland.

“However, what this new research does provide for the first time is an initial sense on what people themselves want out of a home in 21st century Britain. “This is of particular value and importance given the recent work from the Commission on Housing and Wellbeing in Scotland that identified the central importance of a home to the collective wellbeing of the nation and to people living prosperous and fulfilling lives.”

Aberdeen hit by 15 monthlong house price drop The average price of a property in Scotland in August was £144,561, an increase of 4.3% on the previous year and 1.3% compared with July, according to the latest UK House Price Index. The UK average of £218,964, an increase of 8.4% over the year and 1.3% compared with July. Registers of Scotland’s director of commercial services, Kenny Crawford, said: “The volume of residential sales in Scotland in June was 8,620 – a decrease of 7.4 per cent on the previous year, but up 20.9 per cent on last month. “We still may be seeing some impact from changes in Land and Buildings Transaction Tax that came into effect on 1 April 2016 for additional dwellings, such as second homes and buy-to-let properties. These changes are likely to have contributed to the significant increase in volumes seen in March and to the subsequent lower volumes that have followed in April, May and June.” The top five local authorities in terms of sales volumes were Edinburgh (1,053 sales), Glasgow (1,003), South Lanarkshire (568) Fife (515), and North Lanarkshire (448). The biggest price increase over the last year was in East Renfrewshire where the average price increased by 12.7 per cent to £219,511. The biggest decrease was again in the City of Aberdeen, where prices fell by 8.7 per cent to £175,922. Crawford added: “In the five months since the House Price Index was first published in June 2016, Aberdeen has shown each month the biggest annual percentage decrease in average price of all of Scotland’s local authority areas. “Overall, average prices in the area have fallen consistently over the last 15 months when comparing monthly average price figures with the figures for the same month in the previous year.” Across Scotland, all property types showed an increase in average price when compared with the previous year.

Former Buzzcocks drummer John Maher’s images of abandoned crofting homes on the Western Isles have attracted critical acclaim

Drumming up awareness around empty homes Punk comes to Shelter Scotland conference By William Peakin The ex-Buzzcocks drummer John Maher is to take to the stage at a conference on returning empty homes to use. Once used to playing in front of thousands of cheering fans, the punkera legend has turned professional photographer specialising in scenes of the peace and serenity of his adopted Outer Hebrides home. Earlier this year, he exhibited haunting and poignant images of abandoned crofting homes on the Western Isles to critical acclaim. Maher will speak alongside Housing Minister Kevin Stewart at the Scottish Empty Homes Partnership 2016 conference next month. “When I first

started photographing abandoned homes around Harris and Lewis I had no idea it would result in an invite to appear at a Shelter Scotland conference,” said Maher. “The fact some of these buildings may be renovated as a knock-on effect of exhibiting my images is a brilliant, but entirely unexpected consequence. “While the media have been quick to coin headlines such as ‘punk drummer shines light on crumbling crofts’, the reality is a little different; behind the scenes the real hard work is being carried out by organisations like Tighean Innse Gall and the Carnegie Trust. Ultimately, if my involvement in some way, however small, assists in enabling the restoration of abandoned houses and making them ‘Somebody’s Home’ once again, I’m totally up for it.” The Scottish Empty Homes Partnership is funded by the Scottish Govern-

ment and hosted by Shelter Scotland. It works alongside councils and others to speed up the process of bringing Scotland’s 34,000 empty privately owned properties back into use as much-needed housing. Graeme Brown, Director of Shelter Scotland, said: “This year’s conference will help motivate and inspire empty homes officers and others involved in the partnership who have already built an impressive track record, helping to bring 1,700 homes back into use in six years. “Scotland needs to build 12,000 new affordable homes every year over the next five years to meet demand. Renovating existing residential property which has fallen out of use is a cost-effective way of helping to meet that target.” Kevin Stewart added: “All across the country, there are thousands of empty

properties which with determined work could be opened up to families who need them. That’s why the Scottish Government is pleased to fund the Scottish Empty Homes Partnership to guide owners and councils through the process of doing just that.” Since 2010, the Partnership has brought almost 1,700 homes back into use and helped 17 local authorities to appoint dedicated empty homes officers. It is estimated 34,000 properties are empty in Scotland and bringing them back into use could help ease Scotland’s housing crisis. The conference at the Macdonald Holyrood Hotel in Edinburgh on 15 November includes the Annual Howden’s Scottish Empty Homes Champion of the Year Awards which recognises groups and individuals working to revitalise empty properties.


housingscot GOVERNMENT

20 October 2016

Kevin Stewart: “We have made supplying more homes a national strategic infrastructure priority”

£3bn for 50,000 affordable homes in five years: that’s the challenge The Government’s ‘More Homes Scotland’ approach aims to make the housing system work for everybody By Kevin Stewart Last month, the First Minister set out our Programme for Government. It is a plan to build a more prosperous nation with a dynamic, sustainable and inclusive economy, with public services that put people’s needs first, and where every individual has true equality of opportunity. We can only achieve this ambition if people can access a good quality, warm and affordable home. This Government is ambitious for housing: with a commitment of over £3bn to deliver 50,000 affordable homes over the next five years, of which 35,000 are for social rent. We already have a strong track record of delivery. We invested £1.7bn in affordable housing over the lifetime of the last Parliament and we exceeded our target to deliver 30,000 affordable homes by over 10%. It shows what can be done when we all work together. But the targets we have set for this Parliament are much more challenging. Our ambition for housing can only be met if we work in partnership with councils, housing associations and developers; to expand on what we do well, to push the boundaries of innovation and to make the housing system

work for people. This is the ‘More Homes Scotland’ approach. More Homes Scotland includes all the actions we are taking to increase the supply of every type of home and make the housing system work for people. Over the summer, I have been out and about speaking to many different people and I have been struck by how positive they are about this. In August, I visited Fernan Gardens developed by Shettleston Housing Association in Glasgow. With solar panels on the roof, an efficient heat recovery system, triple glazing, a landscaped central courtyard and integrated wi-fi, these flats provide modern, attractive, safe and secure housing for older people. It just shows what can be done. Expanding what we do well

means more investment for more housing. To achieve our ambitions, we will invest more than £572m this financial year in affordable homes. Councils have been allocated over £100m more than last year and the basic subsidy rate for councils was increased by 24% in January. I am pleased to see in statistics published last month that we have a 26% year-on-year increase in the number of affordable homes approved in the period to end June. This is a healthy start. We are also supporting home ownership through our shared equity schemes. This year, £160m is available to support up to 5,000 households to buy their own home, adding to the 22,000 who have already benefited through these schemes. Government investment in housing is also good

for the wider economy. It will support around 14,000 jobs in the construction and related industries in Scotland and will generate £1.8bn of economic activity each year. A substantial contribution to boosting our economy, creating jobs and investing in our future. But it can’t be done with Scottish Government investment alone. Securing wider investment is just one reason why we keep innovating. We are the only government in the UK to invest in charitable bonds and we have invested over £40m so far. We are also pushing forward with innovation in mid-market rent. The Local Affordable Rented Housing Trust will deliver up to 1,000 affordable homes across Scotland over five years, supported by a £55m loan from the Scottish Government. Our £25m Rural Housing Fund is

“Our integrated and collaborative approach demonstrates how highly we value our partners and communities” Kevin Stewart

increasing the supply of affordable rural housing, promoting self and custom build and supporting smaller building firms. It is also important to focus on the housing needs of our island communities. The Government will therefore also establish an Islands Housing Fund with up to £5m over the next three years. This accords with our positive and comprehensive vision for the islands, as outlined in Programme for Government. Our National Housing Trust initia-

tive uses guarantees to unlock the development of affordable rented homes. Last month, I was at Shrubhill in Edinburgh for the site start of the seventh NHT development in the city. This takes the total to 886 affordable homes in the city and over 2000 across Scotland. But our housing sector can only deliver if we make the housing system work better, not least our infrastructure, land, planning and tax systems. We have made supplying more homes a national strategic infrastructure priority. We are working with local authorities, and through our flexible five-year Housing Infrastructure Fund, to unlock strategically important sites. The planning system has a critical role to play. We will bring forward a Planning Bill early in the Parliamentary session and we are pressing ahead with local authorities to deliver simplified planning zones to help attract investment and promote housing delivery. Earlier this year, we published the ‘Place Standard’ to help people to work together to design and deliver successful places.

In September, I met with representatives from Sanctuary Group, Robertson and Torry Community Council at Craiginches, near my own constituency. They had broken ground on a development of 124 new affordable homes for key workers in Aberdeen on land previously owned by the Government. This is an excellent example of making good use of public land, and of engaging local people, to provide much needed affordable housing and create a sense of place. We will make more land available for housing by modernising compulsory purchase orders and empowering communities through implementation of the Land Reform Act. In our approach to Land and Buildings Transaction Tax, we have prioritised support for first time buyers and those buying homes at the lower end of the market. In the first year of the tax, more than 41,600 buyers paid less tax than they would have under UK stamp duty. Finally, we have ended Right to Buy to safeguard up to 15,500 existing homes for future generations. We can only succeed if we all work together. Our integrated and collaborative approach to developing the Joint Housing Delivery Plan, published last year, demonstrates how highly we value our partners and communities. I look forward to working with this Parliament, the Joint Housing Policy and Delivery Group and the sector to transform our ambition into reality. Kevin Stewart is the Scottish Government Minister for Local Government and Housing.


20 October 2016

housingscot 5

Step change in ambition Tackling barriers to an effective housing system

The Joint Group was established in March last year with a remit to deliver a five-year plan for housing in Scotland.

By Tom Barclay The challenge of the Scottish Government’s Joint Housing Policy & Delivery Group is about turning a national strategy into tangible action, all in a really complex operating environment that is the Scottish housing system, with multiple moving parts and players across the public, private and third sectors. The challenge is also then to have a system that can evidence the positive, or negative, effects of our actions over time, hard wiring in where possible capabilities of agility, collaboration and innovation. It is our shared responsibility, through what is widely referred to as a co-production process. The Joint Group was established in March last year with a remit to deliver a five-year plan for housing in Scotland. It is focussed on tackling barriers to an effective housing system, across finance, land and infrastructure, planning, energy efficiency and industry skills and capacity. There are a number of driving and restraining influences at work; for example, the aspiration of the current Scottish Government to deliver 50,000 new homes, backed by a £3bn budget, taking place in a turbulent economic landscape. In a complex operating environment measuring success may be more of an art than a science. But the Group will be held to account by Ministers and the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities. In preparing to take on the co-chair role, I took soundings from various key players in our industry. This highlighted that there are suspicions and uncertainties at work around the idea of co-production, but also I believe that there is a genuine desire to work better together as an industry. It should be about reducing restraining forces as opposed to just pushing harder on the driving forces. My experience of being part of successful, and not so successful, project teams, is the dominant role played by a focus simply on the hard indicators, often to the exclusion of the softer factors that are harder to articulate, and fall into the ‘too tough to tackle’ category, such as; trust and honesty, creativity, objectivity, leverage of partners, agility and innovation, to name a few. Our collective aim, therefore, is to overcome a potential prevailing culture in the housing industry in Scotland, characterised by; entrenched behaviours, combative approaches and perspectives and orbiting short-term political cycles. The Group has a real opportunity to use the co-production model to establish a new culture across the key delivery components of the industry. In March this year the then Cabinet Secretary Alex Neil announced the More Homes Scotland agenda, built around four key areas of more investment in more housing, supporting infrastructure, land and housing

delivery generally, a more effective planning system and building capacity and expertise in the housing industry. We need to do all that we possibly can to increase and accelerate the supply of affordable housing across the country. We urgently need to explore benefits in collaboration and sharing experience and ideas. And in that it is important to identify any constraints in the system and to suggest solutions quickly. The Scottish Government needs to see a big increase in the number of approvals over the first two years to deliver increased building programmes in years four and five. All of this, whilst not being distracted from continuing to provide an excellent service to our customers.

of energy efficiency and modern methods of construction to keep both build and operating costs down whilst delivering quality. The Joint Group delivery presumes a five-year timeframe to 2020. However, we all appreciate the need to look beyond that medium term horizon in achieving an ever more robust strategic insight. My views go beyond the work of the Joint Group into my work as a global board member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), where debate rages around the world on key issues such as big data, talent, climate change and accelerating urbanisation. A ‘futures’ paper published by

The Scottish Government innova-

tion is already supporting the delivery of almost 4,500 new affordable homes and generating up to £600m of housing investment through schemes like the National Housing Trust, LAR and Charitable Bonds. But we need to consider new ways of doing things, without losing what we do well. Housing clients may need to collaborate to achieve more effective procurement and will need to find other ways to build up procurement capacity to drive the best value from expenditure. We are all going to need to push the boundaries of innovation in the fields

“We stand on the edge of an interesting and especially challenging phase for the Scottish housing industry”

RICS looked at global drivers of change over the next 50 years, including: City growth - by 2050 cities will account for 66% of the world’s population; Increasing capital flows - as wealthy individuals, corporates and sovereign funds look for secure, prestigious, high yielding investments; Resource scarcity - 50% more food, 45% more energy and 30% more water in 2030 than it did in 2012. What is both impressive and reassuring for me, as a Glaswegian, is the fact that this city is already debating and wrestling with many of the future cities issues in its local housing strategy, the city’s strategic plan and

its Future City Glasgow project. An effective strategic housing plan, across all tenures, lies at the heart of not just Glasgow’s, but round the world every competing city’s long term viability strategy. In my view we stand on the edge of an interesting and especially challenging phase for the Scottish housing industry. In my work I see a Government and civil service keen to promote a step change in ambition for housing in Scotland. It also signals a moment of real challenge for the housing industry. It will take: Honesty - amongst us all as housing players, about what we can and cannot do, and moreover what we need help with in taking the agenda forward, that is what are the driving and restraining forces for each of us at work here; Determination and trust - again from us as industry players, perhaps to collaborate even more than we have done so to date, to co-produce the scale of changes that our communities demand; Leadership - to be displayed across our public, private and charitable sectors, driven by the long-term ambition and not by short-term political cycles. Tom Barclay is Group Director of Property and Development at Wheatley Group and co-chairman of the Scottish Government’s Joint Housing Policy & Delivery Group.


housingscot PRODUCTIVITY

20 October 2016

If there is one key to improved productivity in housebuilding, it is offsite manufacturing

Our productivity problem Working smarter, not harder, is the key to faster housebuilding By Ed Monaghan Scotland has a productivity problem – not just in construction, but across our whole economy. We have a lower level of productivity than many smaller EU countries and we sit in the third quartile of OECD countries. Nobody doubts that we’re all working really hard, but it seems that we’re just not working smart. Why is this so important? Well, in order to compete, not just at an international level, but at home as well, and have sustainable economic growth, we need to improve our productivity. The more productive we are, the more competitive we become and the more profit we make – individually, collectively and as part of the wider economy. Low productivity is a problem not just for the housebuilding and construction industries, but for us all. In fact, it is such an important issue that some businesses have started to do radical things to tackle it. Productivity is not improved by putting in longer hours – just look at the news recently and you will see a Glasgow company hitting the headlines for introducing a four-day week with no loss of pay. Many companies in Sweden have even introduced a six-hour working

day and both of these report boosted productivity as a direct result of these changes. Perhaps it is time for the construction industry to start thinking outside of the box too and making changes that can make a real difference to productivity and, ultimately, profit. Being an eternal optimist, I believe that lack of productivity in our sector is a challenge that we will successfully address. As a direct response to the issue, at our conference last month Construction Scotland launched a new initiative to help Scottish construction businesses improve their productivity, efficiency, and ultimately their profits. The Profit Through Productivity programme kicked off this month, covering topics from manufacturing and operational efficiency to organisational development and leadership. So what’s stopping us housebuilders being more productive? Antiquated technology is often blamed for poor productivity, and I agree it plays a major part. The construction industry can be a bit of dinosaur when it comes to technology. We need to embrace digitisation and take advantage of things like BIM to do things differently. A shortage of skilled workers has a negative impact too, as do regulations - I don’t shy away from saying that half of my team is up to its knees in treacle battling the regulatory process – we need to work better at getting projects through planning and consents.

In my opinion, if there is one key to improved productivity in housebuilding, it is offsite manufacturing, where elements of homes are built in a controlled factory environment and transported to site. We have talked about this for a long time but now we need to deliver 50,000 new affordable homes and the estimated 75,000 private homes Scotland needs over the next five years and deliver them quickly. Offsite fabrication and modularisation can speed up housebuilding, because while the building components are being manufactured offsite, preparatory works onsite can proceed at the same time. Costs can be lower because using a controlled offsite environment can reduce the impact of adverse site conditions on the project and also enhance safety. A lot of people, especially architects, worry about modular construc-

“Many companies in Sweden have introduced a sixhour working day and report boosted productivity”

tion. They think it means that we’ll soon all be living in identikit boxes and that we’ll lose design flair. But once you delve more deeply into the issue, you realise it doesn’t have to be that way. The idea of offsite construction doesn’t appeal to everyone, so it’s important that a company setting off down this road brings any doubters along on the journey. People are the key to innovation and everyone within a company needs to be on board with new ideas in order for them to work. Board members have a clear incentive – improved profits – for a company to become more productive, but what about the apprentice on the ground? John Forster, group chairman at roofing company Forster Group, spoke very eloquently at the recent Construction Scotland Innovation Centre Conference about the importance of learning from the people on the ground and giving them the opportunity to tell management how things can be done better and more efficiently. His company has had great success in improving productivity by analysing their data, learning from the whole team and by introducing a new set of motivations to bring the team on board. The results of this are reflected in their profits. We also need to think about how the planning system will cope – there’s a review currently under way and I will be interested to see the findings. We need to be bolder in our ambitions, we need to see real movement

on combining consents. That alone will improve the whole sector’s productivity and eradicate the industry’s frustration with continuous re-work. The new homes Scotland needs also have to be supported by the right infrastructure and currently there is a mismatch between where people aspire to live and the infrastructure to support it – we need to make sure that these two things join up. Construction Scotland’s Vision for 2030 is for an industry which is recognised internationally as leading the delivery of innovative, quality projects; which year on year delivers increasing client satisfaction and value for money; and which delivers sustained industry growth and company profitability. Through our new Profit through Productivity programme we are taking clear steps to make that a reality. Ed Monaghan is chair of Construction Scotland and chief executive of Mactaggart & Mickel Group. The Profit through Productivity programme is a collaboration between Construction Scotland Innovation Centre (CSIC), Scottish Enterprise, Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Service, Zero Waste Scotland and Skills Development Scotland. To book a place on Business Breakfast – ‘Engaging in Change and Developing a Culture of Continuous Improvement’ on 28 October or for more details of the full Activity Programme, visit www.cs-ic.org/productivity


20 October 2016



How to release £30bn into the housing market More homes could be provided if the options for downsizing were improved

Scots aged over 65 have £87bn of housing wealth, 93% of which is un-mortgaged

By William Peakin Some 345,000 Scottish retirees are considering downsizing to release equity to fund their retirement, according to a YouGov survey for McCarthy & Stone. But, despite a significantly growing older population, options for downsizing are limited. There are only around 36,000 sheltered or very sheltered houses in Scotland. Just 10% of these are provided for homeowners, despite 76% of older people wanting to continue owning their own property and one in four interested in buying a retirement apartment. Scots aged over 65 have approximately £87bn of housing wealth, £81bn – over 93% – of which is un-mortgaged, providing them with the scope and flexibility to potentially benefit from downsizing and equity release should they wish to do so. The survey found that over a third of older Scots are likely to move if suitable properties become available, which would release homes with a combined value of some £30bn back onto the housing market. Retirement housing has an importance well beyond its immediate purpose. It has to be seen in the context of a comprehensive policy framework designed not only to provide appropriate housing but also to reduce the burden on the NHS and to help grow the economy. People living in specially designed retirement housing typically spend less time in hospital, which can save the NHS over £3,800 per week. And if a delay to residential care is made it can save £30,000 per person annually. These are important savings which could help relieve pressure on health and social care spending which is expected to rise to nearly £8bn by 2031 - around 10% of the total Scottish Government budget. A typical retirement develop-

ment invests around £5m in the local economy, releases circa £8.35m worth of homes and stimulates the housing market. For each retirement apartment constructed there can be as many as six related moves on the housing ladder. Older people downsizing tend to move from oversized three or four bedroomed houses, often in need of modernisation, which can be bought by a family who invest in home improvement. In turn, those families often vacate a property suitable for first time buyers. McCarthy & Stone has been active in increasing traditional retirement apartments and in promoting its new Assisted Living developments, designed to provide suitable accommodation and tailored packages of personal care and domestic support,

in partnership with Somerset Care, for homeowners over 70. Both forms of development help older people to downsize to a safe and secure environment which supports independent living. The majority of homeowners, 83%, believe they maintain their independence for longer, and 64% feel their wellbeing improves. Until recently, despite the obvious need for more retirement housing, Scottish planning and housing policy was largely silent on the matter. However, in 2014 the review of Scottish Planning Policy (SPP), recognised older people’s housing for the first time and now requires local authorities to identify, plan for and support its delivery. The recent Independent Planning Review (IPR) has stated that “future proofing is needed to ensure the needs of Scotland’s ageing population

“It is vital that the Government sets clear targets for the delivery of retirement housing across tenures at a national level” Steve Wiseman

are met” and recognises that “more diverse housing types, including homes for older people could be incentivised where requirements are more finely differentiated to reflect their different impacts.” It calls for “a proactive approach to expanding homes for the elderly” as a priority as part of a programme for innovative housing delivery. McCarthy & Stone welcomes these positive steps towards increasing housing supply for older people. Steve Wiseman, managing director in Scotland, said: “With the Scottish Government set to propose reforms to planning policy in the coming months, it is the perfect time to address some of the obstacles to delivering older people’s housing. It is vital that the Government sets clear targets for the delivery of retirement housing across tenures at a national level and gives this form of accommodation the same status as affordable housing so that supply can keep up with demand.” McCarthy & Stone is asking that reform of the planning system builds on existing policy and the SNP manifesto commitments to encourage older people’s housing, by providing four main commitments. Firstly, it says targets should be

set for the delivery of older people’s housing across tenures at a national level. This would ensure that “future proofing” is in place so that the needs of Scotland’s ageing population are being met. Retirement housing must be given the same priority as affordable housing to require local authorities to meet the growing shortage of appro-

The Limes at Murrayfield, Edinburgh: A typical retirement development invests around £5m in the local economy priate retirement homes, encourage older people to downsize and stimulate the housing market. Secondly, councils should be required to identify suitable sites for retirement housing, which are in increasingly short supply but high demand, within local plans. Developments must be located close to local shops, services and transport links in towns and town centres. Due to the economics of retirement house building, these sites are often lost to competing developers who can lodge significantly larger bids for appropriate sites for other commercial, leisure or housing uses. Thirdly, planning contributions, particularly affordable housing, should be adjusted to ensure viable retirement development can come forward. Exemption from affordable housing contributions would incentivise greater provision and encourage

new entrants into the sector. Fourthly, local authorities should carry out more regular and thorough analysis of older people’s housing needs in their Housing Needs Demand Assessments and monitor the number of private, as well as public, sheltered and very sheltered homes being delivered in their local area. McCarthy & Stone has also welcomed the SNP manifesto commitment to introduce a similar scheme to Help to Buy for new build homes to encourage growth in the retirement housing sector to better meet the need for affordable retirement homes, sheltered and very sheltered housing. It is working with the industry to help develop this policy and believes it could have a transformative effect on the sector, unlocking the market for those who want to downsize but are worried about the costs of doing so.



20 October 2016

Balconies of the ‘Nightingale’ wards remain a distinctive feature

Built out of a duty to do public good, the ‘Vicky’ is reborn

An historic site on Glasgow’s south side is facing a bright future BY WILLIAM PEAKIN Walking up Battlefield Road in Glasgow and the balconies of the former Victoria Infirmary’s ‘Nightingale’ wards, on to which patients would be wheeled out to ‘take the air’, remain a distinctive feature. Surprisingly, despite its visual appeal and place in the physical make-up of the local area, the wing of the hospital is not listed; that distinction goes to a less striking two-storey structure on the site. “People were very concerned that the whole hospital was going to be demolished and the site cleared,” said Peter Martin, Group Director-Development at not-for-profit organisation Sanctuary Group. “But it’s important, where you get the opportunity to retain the heritage of a site, particularly with something as emotionally charged as a hospital, to take the right approach and keep features which mean so much to local people.” On 1 August, Sanctuary took ownership of the hospital and 9.5-acre site from NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde NHSGGC), the first step of a determined move into private house building. “We are delighted to be buying the old Victoria site and are committed to listening to local communities to select the best development solution,” said Martin at the time. “Our plans are to retain the key heritage features of the site while delivering a beautiful

place to live. The development will also create much needed jobs and we look forward to beginning this exciting project.” Evelyn Silber, chairwoman of the Victoria Forum commented: “We are pleased to hear an outcome for the preferred bidder and that Sanctuary Group is making a commitment to consult with the local community. We look forward to talking to them and providing any assistance that we can but on the face of it, what they are saying about the mix of housing is pleasing, as is their promise to maintain heritage features and we look forward also to hearing more detail about that.” ONE OF THE UK’s leading provid-

ers of housing, care and commercial services, Sanctuary employs around 11,000 people and manages more than 100,000 units of accommodation throughout England and Scotland, including general rented, retirement living, supported housing, student and key worker accommodation and care homes. Sanctuary also provides a range of other services including maintenance, care and telecare. Established in 1969, Sanctuary is responsible for the award-winning £60m regeneration of Anderston in Glasgow as well as the £75m regeneration of the high-rise blocks in Cumbernauld (see panel). “We can take a long view,” said Martin, before taking HousingScot, on a tour of the Victoria site. “We aim to double our turnover to £1.2bn in 10 years, producing quality homes where buyers can also appreciate the social good that their money will help sup-

port. We are not beholden to shareholders; any money we make, provides affordable housing for some of the most vulnerable in our society.” AS A GLASWEGIAN, Sanctuary’s

latest project is close to Martin’s heart. Built in in 1888, the ‘Vicky’ was part of the response to the appalling living conditions in Victorian Glasgow, along with the introduction of clean drinking water, better sewers, new housing, public baths and wash-houses. The growth of the city to the south of the River Clyde had been rapid during the industrial and the need for a hospital in the area grew with the increasing number of people living there and working in the nearby factories, shipyards and foundries. Initial funding for the hospital came from the widow of paper magnate Robert Coupar of Millholm, whose donation of £10,000 went towards the first ward and essential facilities. Prior to the NHS, bequests and donations paid for the hospital and its running costs. In return, donors could give sick employees or acquaintances ‘lines of admission’. An annual subscription of £1 or a single donation of £10 entitled the person to recommend one patient a year. During the twenties, the hospital’s reputation grew. OH Mavor, a consultant at the Victoria but better known as dramatist James Bridie, founder of the Citizens’ Theatre, said: “Almost every year something new was added to the hospital, and these new things were often the first of their kind in Scotland. The Victoria earned the reputation of being an unaggressive, insistent pioneer.”


20 October 2016

housingscot 9

“This is the start of an exciting project for us. We want to build something we are proud of; we want something that says this is who we are” In 1948, it became part of the NHS and its impact on people’s health was dramatic as more facilities were added over the coming decades. But in the last ten years, it was clear that no amount of additions or refurbishments could provide the accommodation needed to deliver 21st century healthcare and its services were subsequently transferred to the new hospital at Govan, the South Glasgow University Hospital. “As I understand it, we were the only developer to propose keeping the ‘Nightingales’. We made the best offer, we took ownership [on 1 August] and now the work starts,” said Martin, as we toured the empty buildings where evidence of its former use – operating theatre lights and stainless steel tables in the morgue – remains. Preparatory work has begun. “The newer buildings will be cleared and the site made safe,” he said. “We are engaging a design team. We are obliged to undertake a short statutory consultation but we are going to do something far more indepth. People very connected with the Victoria’s history and heritage, local community groups and wider-spread communities who have an interest in the hospital, will be involved. We want them to have a say in the design before we submit the plan.” The process will take about six months, with the aim of submitting a request for planning permission by early next year and hand over the first keys to the circa-380 properties in mid2018. It is part of the Group’s ambitious development programme which will see Sanctuary deliver 24,000 new homes over the next 10 years. “Our approach will look at how, while retaining the ‘Nightingales’, we can build something on the site that sits comfortably in its environment; a balance between the hospital build, where we will be retaining two of the balconied frontages and reinstating two others, and complementary buildings around it. One of the features will be a boulevard that runs through the site and connects Battlefield Road with Victoria Park. “And it’s not just about houses for sale it’s about money into the local economy, it’s about using local contractors, creating jobs and providing apprenticeships and training on the back,” he said. “This is the start of an exciting project for us. We want to build something we are proud of; we want something that says this is who we are. We are planting our flag and taking on the best of the private developers to produce quality housing in a way that people can see the wider social benefit of what they invest in their own property.”

The interior of some of Sanctuary Group’s London properties. As one of the UK’s leading providers of housing, care and commercial services, Sanctuary Group manages more than 100,000 units of accommodation throughout England and Scotland

Sanctuary’s other projects in Scotland Anderston regeneration project, Glasgow

Sanctuary has entered the final phase of its £60m regeneration of Anderston in central Glasgow. The 206 new flats being built near the trendy Finnieston district will be a mix of social rent and mid-market rent. These flats will bring more families to Anderston and take the total number of new regeneration homes to 540. This £26m final phase is due to complete in summer 2018. Phase 3 of the project won Large Affordable Housing Development of the Year at the Scottish Home Awards in 2015. Ochilview Court, Cumbernauld

Part of Sanctuary’s £75m regen-

eration of Cumbernauld’s high-rise blocks, the £4.3 m Ochilview Court development has been built on the site of a former nursing home in Seafar. The project, which was built in partnership with North Lanarkshire Council and the Scottish Government thanks in part to a £2.9m grant, provided 22 flats for rent and 17 for shared equity sale. Occupants of Hume Road’s high-rise blocks were allocated flats within Ochilview Court. Allanfauld Road, Cumbernauld

The regeneration of Allanfauld Road in Seafar will create another 111 new flats by summer 2017. Three highrise blocks were demolished to make room for the £12.7m development.

Shortroods, Paisley

Sanctuary’s £30m regeneration of Shortroods has created 309 new homes in Paisley since 2002. The final phase, completed at the end of 2015, saw 86 new properties handed over, ranging from one-bedroom cottage flats to three-bedroom family houses. Fifty six of the homes were for social rent, with 30 sold on a shared equity basis. School Park, Strichen

The £1.9m School Park project in the heart of Strichen comprises 12 affordable homes, ten houses and two flats, for social rent. A Scottish Government grant of £800,000 and Aberdeenshire Council grant of £145,000 made the project possible.

Hugo Street, Glasgow

The £9.5m project created 70 properties to help address a local shortage of affordable housing in Ruchill. Built in partnership with Glasgow City Council and the Scottish Government, thanks in part to a £3.9m grant, the development provided 52 homes for social rent and 18 properties sold through the Scottish Government’s shared equity scheme. The communal play park at Hugo Street is popular with local children. Craiginches, Aberdeen

Sanctuary started work on the site of the former HMP Craiginches in Aberdeen at the end of August. The site will be developed into 124 lowcost homes in partnership with the Scottish Government.


20 October 2016

Technical innovation offers new opportunities for urban planning and development

A new urban agenda The housing sector needs to respond to changes, securing adequate provision and meeting new aspirations BY BRIAN EVANS The process of urbanisation is continuing unabated. By 2050, almost three quarters of the world’s population will live in urban areas. The UNECE region (Europe, North America, Central and Western Asia0 currently has a large proportion of its population living in its cities – around 50% in Central Asia and up to 80% in North America and Western Europe. The region’s urban population is growing, albeit slowly. Urban growth, growing inequalities and lack of affordability of housing lead to segregation and subsequent urban sprawl. To prevent this, states should promote strategic planning of human settlements. Cooperation in urban planning and management between different levels of governments, and participation in planning by all key stakeholders and the inhabitants, including local NGOs, should be encouraged. This entails enacting measures at national and local levels to ensure that policies are appropriate for each scale of governance, thereby guaranteeing the most effective results. In order to raise sufficient funds and increase economic growth, Public, Private, People’s Partnerships (PPPPs) should be encouraged. This will allow for the public and private sectors to work together, benefiting both parties. Across the region, there is a general tendency towards urban sprawl, not only in cities experiencing population growth. This poses problems, such

as high levels of car dependency, soil sealing, and expenditure for sustaining oversized infrastructure. Moreover, there is a countervailing trend towards shrinking cities within less successful and more remote regions. Such cities are losing population due to outmigration, which often goes along with ageing, as young and highly qualified leave. Almost all of the world’s countries that are currently experiencing population shrinkage, or are expected to do so, are situated in the UNECE region. Additional challenges for cities are posed by rapidly ageing population mainly in Western, Central and Eastern Europe, and in Russia, particularly in regard to diminishing local tax revenues, impacts on health care, the welfare system, the provision of services, transportation, adapted housing, and accessibility of public space. At the same time, Central Asian countries in the region are experiencing growth in the young population, which poses difficulties related to providing jobs and housing. Within the urban population, there is a trend towards urban concentration and agglomeration into super-cities; clusters of thriving cities in close proximity to one another, such as the metropolitan regions from Boston to Washington, or London through the Randstad and the Ruhrgebiet, to the cities of Northern Italy. Migration is a key issue throughout the region. Its magnitude and significance has increased in the past 20 years. Migrants settle mainly in large cities. This has led to urban polarisation, as best-performing cities or neighbourhoods tend to attract population growth, youth and economic activities, leaving other areas in a state of economic stagnation and demographic shrinkage which, in turn, reduces opportunities for positive social

interaction and cohesion. Migration has led to increased diversity in many cities, a process that boosts social innovation, but also brings challenges for social cohesion. To lower migratory pressure on cities and allow them to plan and manage urbanisation processes, vibrant rural areas can play an important role. There is a continuing need for policy to address the integration of migrants into human settlements, particularly cities. THE ECONOMY OF CITIES

A substantial part of the region has, over the last few decades, undergone economic transition from centrallyplanned to market economies. In general, large and capital cities have prospered, with GDP returning to pre-1990 levels, while smaller ones have done less well. Economic restructuring during the transition held huge challenges for old industrial cities, in particular in Eastern Europe and the CIS States. Although the manufacturing industry has declined in the region in

“The rise of the knowledge economy, built on a digital revolution, is bringing massive opportunities and challenges for cities”

the 20 years since HABITAT II, the Second United Nations Conference on Human Settlements held in 1996, it remains important. There is a shift to cleaner, greener manufacturing that has smaller spatial demands. The rise of the knowledge economy in North America and Europe, built on a digital revolution, is bringing about massive opportunities and challenges for cities. Changing manufacturing and the growing knowledge economy demand differentforms of space and use that better suit the new conditions of economic production, social requirements and cultural institutions. While globalization remains significant, the local qualities of cities become ever more important. Technical innovation offers new opportunities for urban planning and development, land use (e.g. driverless vehicles), interaction with the public (e.g. crowd sourcing), public participation in decision-making and transparency of urban management. However, data privacy, security and ownership are challenging the capacity of governments to utilise these technical innovations. The global financial and economic crisis that started in 2008 has led to more inequality in the region, lowering the income of a substantive part of the population, and affecting many aspects of people’s lives. The increasing duality of the labour markets changes the patterns of employment, favouring those who create more added-value against traditional, low value-adding jobs, significantly contributing to increase of social inequalities. The financial crisis has affected the housing sector the hardest. Lack of housing affordability is a critical matter in the UNECE region as a whole. Since HABITAT II housing

prices have increased substantially in comparison to average incomes. This disparity has been exacerbated by the financial crisis, leading to problems accessing and sustaining adequate housing, housing cost induced material deprivation, and poverty and increased spatial segregation in cities. As a result of the housing crisis, the need for social and affordable housing has increased significantly. Despite being a prosperous part of the world, UNECE has been witness to increased homelessness and informal housing as a result of the crisis. Maintenance of the existing housing presents a serious issue, especially considering the multistory apartment buildings in Central Asia, East and South East Europe (CIS countries), and low housing demand areas in North America and Europe. In some cities, a lack of public spaces and of public transport deprives the residents of amenities and a standard of living which should be available to all. The re-emergence of informal housing is anticipated, as those who cannot get into the housing market find themselves relegated to living in slums with poor infrastructure. The housing sector needs to respond to these changes, securing adequate housing provision and meeting new aspirations, such as energy efficiency and customer-adjusted design, along with the provision of additional services, for example for the elderly, homeless and migrants. Brian Evans is Professor of Urbanism+Landscape and Head of Urbanism at the Mackintosh School of Architecture, Glasgow School of Art. Extracted from HABITAT III – Toward a New Urban Agenda by Brian Evans, Pietro Elisei, Orna Rosenfeld, Gulnara Roll, Amie Figueiredo & Marco Keiner


20 October 2016

How we can reach the home stretch For the Government’s investment to work, action is needed across the country By Mary Taylor It’s great to have a stretch target! That is exactly what we have from the Scottish Government with an excellent ambition to build 50,000 affordable homes in the next five years. That’s more than twice what we achieve at present. And starting… now! We need to get a lot of things right to achieve that target – even with investment committed by Scottish Government – to meet the needs identified for SFHA, Shelter and CIH by Sheffield University last autumn. We know about the need for affordable housing, we know how hard things are for people, especially for younger households. What we need in every locality right across the country is support and action to make sure we can use that investment well. The target includes 35,000 homes for social rent and housing associations across Scotland are working to identify how they can contribute to that target. Achievement relies on a few key

housingscot 11 Mary Taylor: “We all have a part to play to have houses ready for people to live in”

ingredients – such as developable land where people want to live, sustainable long-term funding, trust in strategic partnerships, swift consents/approvals from local councils and funders, timely action by the utilities, not to mention a construction industry ready to roll into action and produce a quality product at a good price. No pressure! All of this relies on having enough people in the right place at the right time, with skills and experience to ‘make places’. That is where we have to make good progress and fast, because recent cuts and slowdown means there isn’t a ready pool of people standing by twiddling their thumbs. We need more skilled people at the start of the development chain, visioning, acquiring land, engaging with local communities, commissioning and designing projects. We need more people to cost proposals accurately and specify the scope of works clearly and competently to enable effective contract management on site later. We need more people able to assess the proposals and manage the approvals efficiently. We need more, better skills on site to build foundations and road layouts, lay bricks and pipes, build timber, install infrastructure and fittings, make connections, paint and decorate – and

to manage quality, safety and cost. Colleges, universities and employers have a part to play with training, and with no time to waste. The national target is not yet broken down at local level, but it will be soon, probably according to a mixture of need, capacity and opportunity on the ground. Those issues are identified both analytically from statistics and from dialogue between partners about what is possible. Then the programme comes together. It starts with getting developable land and at a reasonable price, otherwise we are going nowhere. There is an

appetite for taxing unused land which could help to stimulate land release. If not now, when? We also have potential pressures ahead on cost of materials as well as the cost and availability of labour. Some of that comes from higher costs of material imported from abroad, due to exchange rate issues arising post-Brexit, with evidence already starting to filter through. And who knows where that will end? Planning is key to progress. Each

area will have an overall plan to identify needs and possibilities, but then approvals can grind very slowly, with a

slow decision pipeline. That can come down to resources in local government but sometimes also local resistance to proposals for affordable housing in the proverbial backyard. The planning review suggests engaging communities early: local communities and local councillors could help so much with an early, positive reception. Meantime, we all have a part to play to have houses ready for people to live in. Yes we can! Mary Taylor is chief executive of the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations.

12 housingscot FARMER REVIEW

20 October 2016

Not just another ‘must do better’ school report Creating a vibrant, re-skilled, fully integrated, more predictable and productive industry By Mark Farmer In accepting the daunting challenge of leading the review of the UK construction labour model, I was very clear in my mind that this had to be an exercise that led to change. This was never going to be just another report about the ‘construction skills crisis’ in isolation, it had to look much deeper at the fundamentals of how we deliver and why. There are numerous studies that analyse the well-rehearsed woes of the construction industry. Many also look to exemplars of activity to illustrate how things might be done at scale in a Utopian world. These approaches are both important but only in the context of how we then use that knowledge to effect modernization and improve our industry at a strategic level. The hardest challenge for this review was always going to be how to avoid a straight rehearsal of what we already know, and really focus on what the fundamental change agents are and how this can be connected into an industry-wide transformation programme. This review is therefore deliberately as much about the ‘how’, as the ‘what’ and ‘why’. I was given clear terms of reference and guidance from both the Depart-

ment for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG), which included not expecting a big pot of taxpayer money to throw at the problem. In addition, the overarching guidance from the Construction Leadership Council has been clear – do not pull any punches, look to challenge accepted norms and indeed be controversial if it will provoke debate and lead to the desired outcomes. This review has looked to cover the ground in terms of taking soundings and evidence across many areas of the construction industry, with a particular focus on house building. It has become clear during the course of this work that the most important and effective drivers for change do not necessarily sit within the industry itself so a more holistic view has had to be taken that heavily influences the nature of the recommendations. During the period of concluding

this review, there have been tumultuous events in British politics centered on the decision to leave the EU. This has made the relevance of this review even greater with the need to find a ‘home grown’ solution to our problems now crucial, assuming less future reliance on migrant labour. A by-product of the June 2016 referendum was a fresh government commitment to ‘industrial strategy’. This is welcomed as the principles contained in the review can essentially be viewed as some of the building blocks of a strategy to create a modernised

and sustainable construction industry. Many may see elements of my conclusions as being harsh or negative and indeed some of the recommendations as being controversial or overly ambitious. Some may also feel that the recommendations divert attention from the primary responsibility of the construction industry to resolve its own failings. This is not the intent and careful reading of this review will hopefully demonstrate a balanced and integrated analysis of the evidence that has then been developed into a series of logic linked recommendations. I am hopeful that the issues identified and the principles established should enable all parties to step back and understand the seriousness of the predicament facing the construction industry. This also has direct ramifications for clients as end users of the industry and government as the custodian of the UK’s economic and social welfare. I am very clear that if we do not address in short order how the construction industry operates and delivers, we will see a long-term and inexorable decline in its fortunes. This is not just another ‘must do better’ school report where the industry and its clients shrug their shoulders and carry on as normal. This review warns of potential

marginalisation and deterioration that might not be recoverable. I do not believe construction’s perilous future state was so clearly evident at the time of Latham’s Constructing the Team in

Mark Farmer: “Continuing as we are is not an option” 1994 or Egan’s Rethinking Construction in 1998. If this review does only one thing, it must be to bring the likely reality into greater focus. The acceleration of the wider digital revolution combined with a shrinking traditional construction workforce are two issues I would highlight as being critical to the future fortunes of the construction industry. One could argue that the ‘stars are aligning’ and now is the time to allow the opportunities from digitisation to offset the risks of continued reliance on labour intensive techniques. It is important to clarify that I do

not want to create a divisive binary future industry where innovators or early adopters at the vanguard of change leave the laggards in isolation. This is about creating a vibrant, re-skilled, fully integrated, more predictable and productive industry such that traditional working and new approaches can co-exist and complement each

other, driving much wider longer-term benefits. All interested parties should consider and reflect on the impacts set out in this review of potential industry decline, not only from their own perspective but also hopefully prompting the desire for us to collectively create an appropriate legacy for future generations. I truly believe that being part of the engine room delivering our nation’s built environment and by implication, economic prosperity, offers a massively dynamic and fulfilling career. However, continuing as we are is not an option if we are going to be able tomake that claim in the years ahead. Mark Farmer is Founding Director and Chief Executive of the Cast Consultancy. The Farmer Review of the UK Construction Labour Model http://bit.ly/2dL2tdx

Offering independent advice and assistance Care and Repair Services Care and Repair Services operate throughout Scotland to offer independent advice and assistance to help homeowners repair, improve or adapt their homes so that they can live independently in comfort and safety in their own community. The service is available to owner-occupiers, private tenants and crofters who are aged 60 or over and people who have a disability of any age group. Care and Repair Scotland

Care and Repair Scotland is the national coordinating body for Care and Repair in Scotland. Our aim is to provide a national platform to lead, promote and support local Care and Repair teams to work collaboratively in order to achieve strategic outcomes by helping older and disabled persons to live independently in their own homes.

More about our services

The provision of advice and information is a central part of Care and Repair’s role, as well as providing practical assistance with grant applications and co-ordinating repairs. Care and Repair is a home-based and personalised service, which puts the client in control of decisions. Staff visit people at home and assist them through the entire process of deciding what work is to be done, arranging finance and organising the building works. Each case involves a different approach and often staff must cross disciplinary and departmental boundaries, working closely with health, housing and social work staff. The building work is funded in a variety of ways, including local authority grants, benefits, equity release, home loans, and charitable funds. Some local offices operate a waiting list and there may be variations in what

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We know that the Care and Repair movement needs to work much more closely with colleagues in health and social care, and to look at how services can be delivered more efficiently together, for example, through facilitating hospital discharge, managing equipment stores or helping to deliver telecare and telehealth. For further information please contact: Care and Repair Scotland 135 Buchanan Street Glasgow G1 2JA T: 0141 221 9879 www.careandrepairscotland.co.uk enquiries@careandrepairscotland.co.uk


20 October 2016


Building a strong heritage The Scottish Housebuilder of the Year puts innovation at the heart of construction

The award-winning King’s View at Toryglen in Glasgow

Cruden Group is one of Scotland’s largest independently owned development and construction companies specialising in affordable housing. Formed in 1943, over the years it has built or modernised a staggering 130,000 homes, and currently builds around 1,200 properties every year. Their aim is always to exceed expectations and the company’s delivery of first class homes and service has resulted in long-standing relationships and high levels of repeat business with an extensive client base. BUILDING TO SUCCEED

Their innovative, forward thinking and bespoke approach to development, design and construction, together with a focus on energy efficiency, regeneration and affordability, has helped the firm win many awards, including two that they are particularly proud of Homes for Scotland’s “Housebuilder of the Year 2016” and “Most Innovative Contractor” at the UK-wide Housing Innovation Awards 2016. BUILDING ON INNOVATION

Innovation sits at the heart of everything Cruden does. In a bid to maximise the energy efficiency of the homes it builds, it has developed Cruden C4S. This award-winning build solution incorporates off-site prefabrication and component manufacture, producing a bespoke building fabric which optimises air quality and energy preservation, combined with high efficiency heat production

and distribution. In partnership with Cruden’s supply chain it continues to refine and improve C4S to ensure its homes minimise both waste in construction and cost in use for residents. Cruden also applies their ethos of innovation to construction delivery, deal structuring and partnership working. Cruden assembles land, creates and participates in complex financial structures to deliver multi-

tenure projects for the company and its clients, often with reduced public funding requirements. Without the flexible and transparent approach offered by Cruden many of these projects may not have been carried out. BUILDING COMMUNITIES

Cruden has played a key role in the regeneration of many of Scotland’s most challenging areas by building

affordable, multi-tenure housing developments that become real communities. Their award-winning developments such as Golspie Street, Govan, King’s View at Toryglen in Glasgow, Raploch in Stirling and an ongoing commitment to the regeneration of Craigmillar in Edinburgh have proved highly successful due to the company’s approach to place making, high quality design and construction, community

engagement and its focused approach to the delivery of community benefits. Cruden Group Managing Director Kevin Reid said: “We’re extremely proud that Homes for Scotland named us Housebuilder of the Year. We put our success down to our ongoing commitment to innovation, quality and customer service, but also the hard work and expertise of our dedicated team.”

14 housingscot DIGITAL

Ripe for disruption

20 October 2016

The construction industry is on the cusp of a digital revolution By William Peakin

Today, large capital projects typically take 20% longer than scheduled to finish and are up to 80% over budget. At less than 1%, spending on research and development in construction runs well behind other industries such as car manufacture (3.5%) and aerospace (4.5%). Construction sits 21st in an index of 22 industries and their level of ‘digitisation’ compiled by the McKinsey Global Institute. But five ideas are poised to disrupt construction. These digital innovations have the potential to fundamentally transform business, and the construction industry, for the better: l Integrated high-definition surveying, scanning and geolocation; l Next-generation 5D building information modelling (BIM); l Digital collaboration and mobility; l The Internet of Things and advanced analytics; l Future-proof design and construction. At a recent conference organised by Construction Scotland and the Construction Scotland Innovation Centre, Gillian Docherty, chief executive of the Data Lab, outlined the impact that big data and IoT combined will have on the economy: “Over the years to 2020, our estimates suggest that the value to the UK economy could accumulate to £322bn. That’s roughly equivalent to 2.7% per year of annual GDP; twice the size of the combined education, NHS and defence budgets for 2014–2015. “The economic value of big data and the IoT is expected to grow as the use of big data analytics by businesses becomes more prevalent, and as adoption of the IoT rises. The industry expected to accrue the greatest economic benefits from big data is manufacturing. The total value of big data is expected to accumulate to £57bn by 2020 for this industry; attributed to the diversity of firms in the industry, and the variety of areas in which efficiency gains achieved through the use of big data and big data analytics can be made, such as improved supply chain

management and enhanced customer intelligence.” And at the first International UK BIM Academic Forum, hosted by Glasgow Caledonian University, Martin McDonnell, chairman of the Glasgowbased digital visualisation company Soluis, described the impact technology will have on the construction industry. McDonnell recalled being lifted as a child so that he could reach to play on Atari’s arcade game, Battlezone. It was the eighties, the era of the ZX Spectrum computer, of gaming code published in hobbyist magazines and Marty McFly’s virtual reality glasses from Back to the Future II. Then there were nineties, and the video games Doom and Quake. “Fast forward to 2000,” said McDonnell, “and, luckily, I’ve managed to turn my passion for playing around in 3D into a business, making images and movies of things for clients. Being the geek the that played Battlezone and Doom I had tried and failed to bring

A breakthrough was Oculus, a Kickstarter project ultimately bought by Facebook for $2bn

games technology into our space. “I wanted to allow the client, the architect or the engineer to be able to walk through and experience the project - but it was prohibitively expensive. Then, in 2010 three Danish guys came along and completely disrupted the games industry with the Unity gaming engine, where the licence was $1,500 instead half a million. It was literally a game changer for us.” The first big project was the

Gatwick South Terminal where clients, such as Harrods and Selfridges, were able ‘walk’ through their retail space, using 3D glasses and a monitor. The next breakthrough was Oculus, a Kickstarter project ultimately bought by Facebook for $2bn. With the big electronics and software companies now heavily invested, virtual reality (VR) has essentially become “democratised,” said McDonnell. Google’s Cardboard VR viewer costs £15: “We have even delivered high-end projects using Google’s ‘Cardboard’, which costs just a few dollars. There is huge potential for Cardboard in education, museums, heritage and so on.” With VR, you disappear into a virtual world, detached from reality. With augmented reality (AR) you can see the real world, but information and visuals can be overlaid. VR and AR will be revolutionary in business and industry and in the design of civic and personal spaces, said McDonnell. One area with the earliest potential applications in a sector such as construction, is in training and health and safety, he said. In the near future there are also incredible efficiencies to be gained in manufacturing where complex, precision manufacturing processes that currently take more than 10 minutes could be reduced to “sub-minute”. Another medium is ‘immersive’, said McDonnell, such as Soluis’s dome which allows people to stand together and view in 3D a construction project. This year, Soluis has also been working with Crossrail after winning

an Innovate UK competition for its augmented reality software that allows construction site staff to both access and upload data via a smart helmet’s ‘heads-up’ visor display. It has established relationship with Los Angelesbased Daqri, whose smart helmet has been deployed in the aerospace industry. Called ‘In-site’, the Soluis app pulls information about buildings or structures from the cloud to the helmet and then overlays it as augmented reality on workers’ visor screens. Further ahead, predicted McDonnell, he could have “Iron Man powers”, using augmented reality to inspect a

“We have even delivered high-end

projects using Google’s Cardboard” Martin McDonnell workplace or site to ‘see’ the health of equipment in real-time, ‘look’ through walls and ceilings, retrieve information and then file reports. One recent development exciting McDonnell is Skype for Microsoft’s Holo Lense which will allow people to “dial in to my reality” and interact on a project or inspect work. It is for these types of opportunities that the Construction Scotland Innovation Centre has been established, to encourage the industry to embrace. Centre chief executive Stephen Good said: “There is a massive opportunity to use technology to build in a more cost effective and efficient way using digital technology. Many stages are still manual and traditional. It is ripe for a technology revolution.” The Farmer Review on the industry’s labour model, published this week agrees. The message is a wake-up call to the industry: “Modernise or die”.


20 October 2016

Square peg, square hole How RSLs and the private rented sector are a perfect fit By Ashley Millan Once the domain of students and professionals in need of a short–term place to stay, the previously stable private rented sector has trebled in size in recent years as increasing numbers of the population turn to the sector in a bid to secure good quality, secure and affordable housing. Lengthy council waiting lists mean that tenants who would have traditionally sought housing via a local authority or housing association now make up some of the 330,000 people living in the sector. Today’s private rented accommodation in Scotland provides a haven for some of our most deprived and vulnerable people, and at its worst, contains some of the country’s poorest housing stock. We see a private rented sector more subject to increased regulation, legislation and scrutiny than ever before and this combination of circumstances has created a ‘perfect storm’ environment which is entirely compatible with the skills, expertise and resources housing associations have and can offer. All

“Housing associations are perfectly placed to integrate into a growing private rented sector”

landlords require to be registered, deposits are held by independent approved bodies and the Private Rented Housing Panel has been established to resolve landlord and tenant disputes. These are only some of the statutory requirements imposed by the Scottish Government on the private rented sector recognising that increased protection for tenants is both timely and desirable. Delivering a high quality legally compliant rented service to both private sector tenants and landlords utilising the housing management and regulatory skills of the social housing sector is the driving force behind Weslo’s introduction of its subsidiary Weslo Initiatives to the private rented sector. Trading as Weslo Property Management, the company initially managed and maintained the parent company’s portfolio of mid-market and market rented properties. Now though, in response to demand and unmet need, and amidst the growing regulatory climate enveloping the private rented sector, the company has extended its offer to owners and other third party landlords who are no longer able to efficiently manage properties themselves or need advice in what is rapidly becoming an increasingly specialist

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Ashley Millan

area. In doing so, Weslo Property Management aims to put in place for landlords and tenants in West Lothian and Falkirk the high levels of customer service and satisfaction which the parent company provides to tenants of our 2,200 homes for social rent. Housing associations collectively manage and maintain some 280,000 houses for rent in Scotland. They have the expertise to extend their skills and experience to the private rented hous-

ing sector and are already attuned to operating in a demanding regulatory environment. In the current environment, therefore, I believe housing associations are perfectly placed to integrate into a growing private rented sector and help achieve the Scottish Government’s aim of raising standards and creating a more professional sector. Fortunately, we’ve found that customers – prospective tenants or land-

lords – are attracted by the connection to an established registered social landlord with a good reputation. This gives us a solid foundation on which to instil the trust so often found to be lacking between landlords and tenants in traditional private sector tenancies and that can only be for the long term betterment of the sector. Ashley Millan is Head of Private Rented Services at Weslo Housing Management

Every 20 minutes a household in Scotland becomes homeless. We are one of the richest countries in the world, so why isn’t there a home for everyone? Our campaign Homelessness: Fixed Homelessness:Far FarFrom From Fixed is calling for a new National Homelessness Strategy to ensure: No access to a computer? get online? • A safe and affordable homeNeed for to everyone • Help is available for everyone to keep or find a home • A strong housing safety net exists to catch people if they lose their home • That no-one should ever have to sleep rough on our streets www.shelterscotland.org

You can find out more and sign up to support our campaign online.

shelterscotland.org/farfromfixed #farfromfixed

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