2020 conference: Climate and Housing

Jon Lee, Ecology Building Society
Sam Foster, Heriot Watt University

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Jon Lee

Jon will emphasise the need for the finance sector to embrace community enterprise and innovative design and examine the challenges of getting funders interested in small projects or remote locations. He will highlight the importance of the renewal of the Rural Housing Fund and Ecology’s support for projects such as Nith Valley Leaf Trust’s Passivhaus scheme at Closeburn and the Rothiemurcus self-build co-operative as well as empty home projects.

Sam Foster

The majority of housing in Scotland is not fit for purpose. It is unaffordable, inadequately insulated, poorly built from toxic materials, and laid out to prioritise car movement. It causes poor health and wellbeing and contributes massively to climate change.

Creating housing which is a home not a financial asset and doesn’t contribute to climate change, requires a few strategic moves. These include: making land available for community-led housing; transitioning from quantity to quality as the driver of housing development; integrating infrastructure; ensuring that houses are designed and built well, from non-toxic materials that store greenhouse gases, and; increasing access to finance and developing innovative finance models for community housing.

Sam will talk briefly on the steps that can be taken now to ensure housing is fit for purpose for the future.