As part of her role as UN housing rapporteur, Prof Raquel Rolnik (University of Sao Paolo,) is carrying out a ‘mission’ to review housing in the UK. To do this she has visited England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. With her colleague Junana Sotamayor from the UN, she visited the University of Glasgow on Thursday September 5 2013. Apart from helping suggest practitioner and policy contacts in Scotland, Policy Scotland hosted a two hour discussion meeting with the UN team and Scottish-based housing academics. This was a wide-ranging conversation that covered several distinct topics:
• Welfare benefit reform
• Regulating the standards of the private rented sector and discussing typical tenancy length
• Scottish homelessness legislation and its implementation
• Funding for affordable and social housing supply to meet housing need
• The (extent of)resilience of the UK housing sector in the face of the credit crunch and downturn• Wider questions about house prices and market stability.
Not only was this a valuable knowledge exchange exercise in the broader sense, the academics gathered from several HEIs across Scotland recognised that this relatively free exchange of views was something that should be encouraged.
Further reflections on the meeting can be found on Ken Gibb’s website at: