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Global housing expert to attend Scottish homelessness conference

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Home For 10 is hosted by Homeless Network Scotland

Leilani Farha, former UN special rapporteur on the right to housing, has been confirmed as a keynote speaker at Scotland’s annual homelessness conference.

Ms Farha (pictured) is global director of The Shift, an international movement to secure the right to housing which works with multi-level stakeholders around the world including with city governments in North America and Europe.

She brings a unique set of knowledge and experience to share in Scotland, including through her topical reports on homelessness, the financialisation of housing, informal settlements, rights-based housing strategies and the first UN guidelines for the implementation of the right to housing.

Home for 10 is the title of this year’s event hosted by Homeless Network Scotland which brings together the sectors and services in Scotland that are committed to adequate housing and preventing homelessness in Scotland.

Taking place on 4 October in Glasgow, the conference is marking ten years since the removal of the priority need test in Scotland; the result of progressive legislation from the Scottish Parliament which created an almost universal right to housing in Scotland, with exceptions as a consequence of immigration legislation reserved to UK government.

But the 2012 commitment did not end homelessness in Scotland. Rights were seen to leverage action, accountability and help increase expectations – but on their own were not enough when efforts to prevent homelessness had not been widescale or early enough or the supply of affordable housing sufficient enough.

With 2032 the target date for 110,000 new affordable homes in Scotland, many are eyeing the opportunity to align this more realistic housing investment with new duties to prevent homelessness – to assure everyone has a home to build and live their lives.

The conference will welcome Shona Robison MSP, cabinet secretary for housing and also Darren ‘Loki’ McGarvey, author and campaigner.

Maggie Brunjes, chief executive of Homeless Network Scotland, said: “Home for 10 is shaping up to be an event that meets the moment. The homelessness sector in Scotland will go on record in terms of the swiftness and effectiveness of its response during the pandemic. But there are stubborn issues, and new threats on the horizon that are stalling progress in ensuring everyone has a home to build and live their lives.

“It is important to keep learning about what works and what matters. As well as a phenomenal range of speakers and contributors on the day, we will be publishing a special collection of insights and provocations from key experts – across policy, practice, personal experience and academia – on the mistakes made, the hard-won progress, and what needs to happen next.”

You can view the full programme here and book your ticket here.