A note from Housing Minister Paul McLennan to the TPAS Scotland community

Since I took up my post as Housing Minister last March, I have enjoyed meeting with tenants, residents and social landlord staff, Board and elected members across Scotland and hearing about their work, their priorities and ambitions, and the challenges facing the sector, both now and in the future. There is no doubt about it, our work has not been without recent challenges.

During these challenging times, it is more important than ever to keep sight of the great work that goes on in this sector. The work you do and the difference you make is absolutely to be commended.

There is a great deal going on in the housing sphere right now, and I would like to highlight some of the key work we are taking forward as a government in relation to your conference themes.


People across Scotland are being affected by the most severe economic crisis in a generation and the unprecedented cost of living crisis has presented stark choices for many households.

Eradicating child poverty is a national mission and a top priority of this Government, and since 2022 we have continued to allocate around £3 billion per year to policies which tackle poverty and protect people as far as possible.


This includes support such as providing 1,140 hours of high quality funded early learning and childcare, free bus travel for over two million people and offering free school meals to all pupils in primaries one to five.

And we have committed £6.3 billion in social security benefits and payments this year, increasing our ‘game-changing’ Scottish Child Payment in line with inflation to £26.70 a week, and making over £90 million available for discretionary housing payments this year which will be used to fully mitigate the UK Government’s unfair bedroom tax.

We know that our actions are making a difference, and we will leave no stone unturned across government as we seek to finally end child poverty in Scotland.

The next six years will be also critical in delivering on our statutory targets to significantly reduce levels of fuel poverty. Our forthcoming legislative plans in respect of a future Heat in Buildings Bill and Housing Bill, alongside the forthcoming publication of the Energy Strategy and Just Transition Plan, present us with a monumental opportunity towards achieving our mission to tackle poverty.


Furthermore, in June 2023 Scotland became the first nation in the UK to publish a Plan that works towards ending the need for food banks in Scotland, and offering people choice in the food and essentials that best meets their needs and preferences.



As tenants, social landlord staff and the Scottish Government, we all share a guiding principle- for  everyone in Scotland to have access to a safe, good quality home,  and to be part of a thriving, flourishing community where people can put down roots and feel like they belong.  A key element of this is ensuring that housing is accessible, allowing people to live independently in a home which meets their needs.

Housing to 2040, Scotland’s long-term strategy for housing, sets out a vision for what we want Scotland’s homes and communities to look like by the end of 2040, including housing and independent living for older and disabled people.

Most older and disabled people tell us they want to live at home, within their community, for as long as possible, and this is why we are increasing the supply of accessible and adapted homes, flexible enough to meet changing needs over time.

For new build projects, wherever possible, all affordable homes are built to Housing for Varying Needs accessibility standards, and we have recently consulted on proposals to enhance the accessibility, adaptability and usability of Scotland’s homes.



As a government, we recognise the importance of timely adaptations in supporting people in their own homes, and we issued updated practical guidance on the delivery of Equipment and Adaptations last January with the aim of putting the person who needs adaptations at the centre of services.

We know, however, that there is still more to do- which is why we are taking forward a strategic review of the current housing adaptations system, with initial recommendations expected later this year.

It is of course, vital that tenants have an active and meaningful role in shaping the services they receive, their homes and their communities, and we remain committed to working directly with tenants and communities on issues of national policy.


Good tenant participation has the potential to drive real, lasting change for tenants and communities. As a government, we want to ensure that tenants from a diverse range of circumstances, geographic locations and walks of life have the opportunity to be engaged in the decisions and actions that involve them.

And as we look to the future, it is vital that we hear from young people in order to build a clear understanding of the priorities of the next generation of tenants.