Tom Arthur, SNP MSP for Renfrewshire South, visited Barrhead Housing Association to meet with Chief Exec Lorna Wilson and Chairperson John Hamilton, earlier this month. As a key social housing provider in the constituency, Tom meets with Lorna on a regular basis and is keen to maintain a good working relationship with the BHA team.
The meeting, held in BHA’s offices on Barrhead Main Street, was arranged to update Tom on the new business strategy that the housing association is developing as well as a general catch up on the tenant engagement programme and some partnership working with other local organisations.
As the Westminster-made cost of living crisis continues, homelessness is on the increase across East Renfrewshire and numbers have reached record highs. As well as this, the general housing list is growing all the time, with contributing factors including private rental costs increasing due to rising mortgage interest rates. Financial challenges and squeezed household budgets leads to rising demand for frontline public services such as affordable housing from registered social landlords like Barrhead Housing Association.
Speaking after the meeting, Tom said:
“It was really good to meet with Lorna and John again. Barrhead Housing Association is always very proactive in their approach to supporting tenants and I was keen to hear how their engagement strategy had evolved since last we met.
“With presentations at homeless services in East Renfrewshire currently at the highest levels in living memory, it is more important than ever that organisations and elected members form a support network that works cohesively together to help people through the Westminster-made cost of living crisis. We must ensure that people in Barrhead and across Renfrewshire South can access the assistance that they require in a way that is supportive and dignified with no unnecessary barriers or bureaucracy.
“There is some phenomenal work going on at BHA and the team are collaborating with RAMH, Citizens Advice and others to focus support and resource as effectively as possible. I will continue to work with them all to further these objectives.”