Conference 2019

Rural Solutions | Rural Housing Scotland Conference 2019

We are pleased to announce the programme for our 2019 Conference – Rural Solutions.  

The conference takes place on 22 February 2019 and we are very happy to be able to reduce the cost of attending this flagship event. Bookings can be made online here.

Rural Solutions looks at new ideas and initiatives to secure the delivery of affordable rural housing and the future of our rural communities: how we can sustain our rural communities and create homes for young and old alike.

We are delighted to welcome Aileen Campbell MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Local Government. The Cabinet Secretary will outline her commitment to delivering affordable rural housing as an essential part of the Scottish Government’s pledge to deliver 50,000 affordable homes.

2019 marks 35 years since the publication of the influential report “Scotland’s Rural Housing; A Forgotten Problem”. In our afternoon keynote speech, the report’s author Prof. Mark Shucksmith will reflect on changes in rural housing over the last 35 years and the issues which persist.

We also welcome Alison Milne, co – Chair of the National Council of Rural Advisers who will discuss their report on the future of the rural economy.  This sets out a bold and ambitious vision for the future of Scotland’s rural economy – inspired by conversations and contributions from people across Scotland: and highlighting that to achieve this vision requires improved and inclusive access to rural housing solutions.

A key solution to rural housing needs is community led housingRural Housing Scotland supports communities across Scotland to deliver affordable housing to meet local need. To highlight how communities can deliver affordable housing we have brought together four speakers to set out the steps required.

Helen Macdonald is Local Development Officer for Mull & Iona Community Trust and led the development of two new homes built by the trust at Ulva Ferry. Helen will discuss the challenges faced by communities and what she’d do differently as MICT look to build on their success with a second phase.

Neil Moir (tbc) leads on the Rural & Islands Housing Fund for the Scottish Government . These funds are the key source of grant funding for community led housing. With the funds due to close in March 2021 the next two years promise to be very busy.

Jon Lee is the Business Development Manager for Ecology Building Society. EBS are a key lender to the commmunity led sector in England and a major supporter on self build in Scotland.

Derek Logie, Rural Housing Scotland has worked  throughout Scotland to support community led housing development; developing one of the first projects in Laggan in 1996.  He is currently working with communities in 8 local authority areas on a variety of community led housing initiatives.


The conference will also feature a number of workshops highlighting solutions to tackle rural housing issues and rural homelessness.

Fit Homes | Graeme Hamilton
The ‘FitHome’ aims to help people live safe, well and independently in their communities for longer by using cutting edge data-gathering technology and Artificial Intelligence to help detect the onset of ill health and potentially even prevent episodes such as falls. Albyn Housing Society have piloted this approach in the village of Dalmore. Graeme Hamilton their Innovation Officer will outline this unique project and discuss how this approach could help more older people in rural communities remain in their communities.

Instant Housing | Fiona van Aswegen, Kranog
Kranog are pioneering the development of off site off-grid modular homes which can be delivered to the remotest locations and are ready to use “out of the box”. Developed with the tourist market in mind Kranog is being adapted for potential use as housing: as a form of ‘core and cluster’ housing for older people or “instant housing” for use until permanent housing is built then moving to the next location. Fiona and her business partner will discuss this approach and its potential to provide immediate housing to help meet rural housing needs.

We also hope to arrange a visit to a complete Kranog.

Land for Housing | Calum Macleod, Community Land Scotland
A number of community land rights have come into effect in recent years. These alongside changes in planning including the advent of local place plans, and options such as community asset transfer provide opportunities for local communities to acquire land and assets. Calum Macleod from Community Land Scotland will highlight how communities have delivered housing on their land and the potential for much more development of this kind in rural communities.

Housing First in rural areas | Allan Jones, Aberdeenshire Council
The Scottish Government has announced its backing for a Housing First and rapid rehousing approach to tackle homeslessness in Scotland. Local authorities are expected to produce Rapid Rehousing Transition Plans setting out how they are going to move away from the use of temporary accommodation and bed & breakfast to mainstream accommodation – in houses and flats in ordinary communities. But with much less social housing in rural communities how can rural authorities provide permanent housing for rural homeless people in rural communties. And can the wrap around care required to provide a Housing First approach be provided in villages and small towns. Allan Jones will highlght the experience of implementing a Housing First approach in Aberdeenshire.

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