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Reporting on a truly inspirational event

This conference on the 13th July was organised by Development Trusts Association Scotland and hosted at Cassiltoun Housing Association’s offices at the historic stables building which has been restored.

Scotland has huge contrasts in the urban and rural settings, and the day had been organised so all the delegates could participate in workshops on both topics.

Recent legislation has empowered communities and provided finance for projects.  In rural areas identifying the needs of the community is key, and housing may only be part of the development.  Engaging the whole community in the project and keeping everyone informed maintains the morale.  Mixed tenures make projects work for the community, with allocation policies being set to give priority to locals, families, or incomers with local work.

In the urban workshop we learnt the story of Castlemilk, and the community buyout in 85 and the turn round of the community from an area of high unemployment, gangs and vandalism to one of engaged community, with all the benefits of reduced vandalism.  The organisation has progressed through charitable status, and Registered Social Landlord to fulfil its objectives.  The iconic building of the stables was destroyed by fire, and taken on by them to recontruct and is now used as their offices.

With 1000 homes currently they are planning to build 1 and 2 bed homes on a main bus route lower in the estate to attract older people to downsize and release larger homes for families.  On adjoining land behind the stables they are planning to build more homes.  Clearly they aim to cater for the whole age range with a home for additional needs on site as well, though the reputation of Castlemilk from the past has to be overcome when attracting residents.

Article by Barbara Potter

For a google photo album of snapshots and detailed presentation slides go here.

http://www.hscht.co.uk/helmsdale-community.html

ttp://www.hscht.co.uk/helmsdale-community.html

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