28 - 30 June 2023, Golden Jubilee Hotel, Clydebank

TPAS Annual Conference 2023

This year’s Annual Conference took place from 28 – 30 June 2023 where through a series of keynote talks and workshops we explored topics covering the theme of

New Challenges, New Conversations

The keynote speakers included;

  • Scottish Housing Minister Paul McLennan MSP
  • Professor John McKendrick - Scottish Poverty and Inequality Research Unit, Glasgow Caledonian University
  • Mareta Greig, Head of Tenant Services at Forth Housing Association
  • Julie Cosgrove, Chief Executive, Caledonia Housing Association
  • Kirsty Wells, Scotland Manager, HouseMark Scotland
  • Helen Shaw, Scottish Director of Regulation at the Housing Regulator


As well as an interesting and engaging day of interactive workshops.

Conference roundup

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Presentation slides

You can catch up with the presentation slides linked within the conference programme below.

See if you can spot yourself in our gallery of Photos

National Good Practice Awards 2023

And closing the conference with a thought-provoking panel session where campaigner, podcaster and housing trade journalist Jimmy Black, Scottish Housing News and Scottish Construction Now editor Kieran Findlay discussed burning issues with Director of Glasgow & West of Scotland Forum of Housing Associations, David Bookbinder and Anne Marie Brown, Chief Executive at Dalmuir Park Housing Association.  A podcast of this session was recorded and can be found here.


TPAS Conference

Day one - Wednesday 28 June


Elaine Scoular & TPAS Chairperson, Calum MacKay
Keynote: Paul McLennan MSP

Poverty in Scotland in 2023: The Way Ahead
Professor John McKendrick - Scottish Poverty and Inequality Research Unit, Glasgow Caledonian University

Recent reports suggest that a million people in Scotland are affected by poverty. Work to reduce child poverty, fuel poverty, and in-work poverty has been affected by recent events. This keynote will discuss the current poverty issues in Scotland and how communities and government can work together to achieve better outcomes for our tenants and our communities.

Lunch at your leisure

Keynote Session: Professor John McKendrick

Keynote Session:  Mareta Greig, Forth Housing Association

Refreshment break

Keynote: Julie Cosgrove, Caledonia Housing Association

'Affordable' housing? Aye.. Wrong with Craig Sanderson & Harry Woodward

7.00pm - 9.00pm 
Dinner at your leisure - The Waterhouse

Entertainment: Arcoona

Day two - Thursday 29 June

Workshop Session 1

Workshop Session 2

Refreshment Break

Workshop Session 3


Workshops Session 4

Refreshment break

Wellbeing/Free time/Visits  

National Good Practice Awards followed by Gala Dinner – hosted by Michelle McManus


Day three - Friday 30 June

Keynote Session:  Kirsty Wells, HouseMark Scotland & Helen Shaw, Scottish Housing Regulator

Refreshment Break

Panel Discussion: Jimmy Black, Kieran Findlay, David Bookbinder, Anne Marie Brown

Kieran Findlay and Jimmy Black discuss hot housing topics with David Bookbinder and Anne Marie Brown on stage. Audience questions welcome, on postcards, please, which stewards will hand out

Closing Remarks


Anthony will cover Sanctuary’s work so far around trauma, the impact on staff, tenants and communities and the opportunities that are coming up in the future as well as next steps.

The Dunterlie Food Share is a volunteer run and led group that begun operating on 12th May 2019. Although based in a highly deprived SIMD area, their purpose is to save food that would have been binned/wasted by supermarkets and distribute it for free to people in Barrhead without prejudice. The Dunterlie Food Share have a paid membership with Fare Share Scotland, who obtain supermarket food and redistribute to community projects. DFS have formed a partnership with East Renfrewshire Unpaid Work Team who collect the food from Fare Share on a weekly basis from Glasgow and drop it off to the volunteers in Dunterlie Resource Centre.  The volunteers also collect food from Tesco and Co-op in Barrhead on a Thursday night. An average core group of 11 volunteers with a minimum of 5 on duty weekly (with the youngest being 21) they sort & bag the food items they receive that day, evenly pack a bag of food items that would replicate a weekly shop and distribute similar items into each bag with a minimum of 3 meals included weekly. No weeks are the same, as the food items from Fare Share vary from week to week. The public can pick up the food between 11.30 – 12.30 with only criteria is that attendees are form a Barrhead G78 postcode. The Food Share keeps evolving and now has opened their doors earlier to people to become a welcoming space for community members to gather, socialise, talk and access support from organisations such as Barrhead Housing, Citizen’s Advice, Money Advice, Work ER, Social Security Scotland and others and work with Overlee Homeless Unit. Extending the opening hours has created a space where local people can spend a couple of hours, get some food, try new activities and be helped and supported to address any issues they are facing in terms of benefits, housing, finances etc.

The presentation tracks Langstane’s roots from the old model lodging houses through to present day and the changing support requirements to ensure tenancies are sustained and the community spirit evident during the Covid years  is maintained and strengthened but it’s not all plain sailing.  The cost of living crises has provided a renewed focus on supporting vulnerable tenants and the presentation highlights the resource required to ensure tenants are provided with the help they require.

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As part of West of Scotland’s Business planning process, we identified that supporting our tenants in respect of the cost-of-living crisis would be a priority for us this year and we have a key business objective in respect of this. In addition to this we have seen a real increase in respect of our tenants struggling with mental health issues and wanted to be in a position to provide support in respect of this and provide staff with some tools to assist tenants.

Our presentation will include a summary of feedback from our tenants in respect of issues that they are currently struggling with and what support we are providing to our tenants and what other actions we have planned with particular focus on our new Tenant Assistance Programme.

I will be joined by Isla Sutherland from Sodexo who manages our Employee Assistance Programme with CARE FIRST. Isla approached me earlier this year to advise that Sodexo were looking to see if we were interested in offering a similar assistance programme to our tenants. We launched the programme in March this year, Isla will give an overview of what the programme includes, and we will be able to tell delegates how this is working so far.

There will be an opportunity for delegates to ask Isla and I any questions at the end of the presentation.

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Working in partnership with tenants and customers is core to delivering excellent Housing Services to the people of North Ayrshire.  The three key priorities within the Customer Participation Strategy – Engage, Empower and Evolve gives customers the variety of opportunities to take part in ways that meet their needs, offers development opportunities to shape the services provided and continually improves services to meet customers’ needs.

This session will be presented by Tracey Wilson, Tenant Participation Manager and guests who will explore how North Ayrshire Council engage with traditionally hard to reach groups. This session will showcase the good practice and work carried out recently engaging Gypsy Travellers in the Redburn Grove estate and how the team have broken down barriers, developed relationships and paved the way for a Registered Tenant group to be set up. Tracey will also discuss the challenges faced, highlight the commitment from tenants and showcase the next steps in the Customer Participation journey.

The challenges faced in delivering tenant engagement in a rural setting along with the cost-of-living crisis.    Is the priority to have tenants sitting around the table in group,  that may not necessarily represent the wider tenants so we can tick the box that we have consulted?  Or is it better to vary your methods, work towards more meaningful engagement and even consider a lighter touch in some circumstances to get a wider reach.

Following covid, LHA went to our tenants and asked them what they would prefer, the presentation covers the results, and outcomes from this in terms of what we consider engagement, and the opportunities we have provided tenants since along with the improvements we are seeking to make as we develop a revised engagement strategy that also helped to deliver some financial assistance.

You may also get to see some wonderful images showing the beauty and remoteness of Lochaber along with some houses and the opportunity for an interactive discussion and Q & A so we can discuss together some of the best ways to engage in challenging times.

The cost-of-living crisis has caused Net Zero to become the hottest topic in housing.

This special session will guide you through the fundamental concepts, the pros and cons of solutions and the significant changes our homes will undergo.  It will be honest, fast paced and not intimidating.

This session is suitable for anyone who wants to improve their knowledge and understanding of low carbon homes and what they mean for you.

View slides

In this session, we want YOUR Views on a number of subjects. We want to establish tenant awareness of topical issues and ask you if these are important to you or not?  It’s a chance to have your say.
Sound interesting? Here is how the session work will work:

  1. The hosts will each present the case for and against on a subject
  2. You will then get a chance to add some views in favour or against
  3. You then vote to say if you are ‘bothered or not bothered’.

This session will be interactive, fun and we will cover a wide range of housing subjects. 

Media attention on Damp & Mould has exposed significant failings and shaken the sector.  Too much tenant comms and engagement has been the same for a decade.  New approaches are needed.

This session will look at why change is needed in tenant engagement on damp and mould and explore new ways to tackle this important subject.    

2020 – 2022 saw the Covid Pandemic, Brexit, the Suez Canal blockage, USA wildfires (impacting imports of wood), and inflation. I mention all of these events from the past three years because as housing providers, we are facing rising costs for materials to maintain our stock, we are facing competition with the private sector for our staff – particularly contractors – due to pay, and our tenants are facing wage stagnation (in reality, wage reduction) in the face of inflation. They have to make choices to “heat or eat” – and more and more wonder how they will pay rent. Our journey into funding began in 2020 with the Covid crisis. We immediately started welfare calls – starting with the elderly and moving on to people living on their own and households with children 5 and under. A lot of the feedback in these calls had to do with digital connectivity to assist with online shopping, ability to keep working, and help with children’s’ schooling. We considered what referral paths we could use, but ultimately, we brought funding in-house, and have successfully distributed a total of over £600,000 worth of equipment, vouchers, and direct financial assistance to tenants.

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82% of our carbon footprint in Scotland comes from consumption: from all the goods, materials and services which we produce, use and in the case of products, often throw out after just one use. By everyone making small changes, we can make a big difference. 

But we’re not just helping the planet.  Many of these small changes can have a positive influence on your finances, and those of your community.  It’s a win-win.

In our session, Zero Waste Scotland will go through some of these steps and give you a chance to share your ideas and knowledge of great initiatives/resources in your area.  Feel free to bring along ideas/information/examples of things you feel would benefit the group.  We hope to see you there.

Covering the impact that energy has played in the current cost of living which has increased dramatically the number of households living in fuel poverty. The causes of fuel poverty are explored including the inequalities associated with it. The impacts of fuel poverty and deep. The health and wellbeing of people is affected and ultimately it leads to the worst of outcomes for those that are the most vulnerable. Programmes of support and significantly improve people’s lives if directed to those in most need and where the greatest benefits can be derived. Scotland has mandatory targets to reduce fuel poverty, a strategy to implement and a framework of support that can bring about real and lasting change. World leading delivery, at pace needs to be the goal. Room for optimism but there is a long way to go to reduce fuel poverty from almost 40% today to no more than 5% by 2040.

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Hearing chatter in Scotland that RTO’s are a dying breed but not here in the Kingdom of Fife. Whilst many groups have folded during Covid, Fife have managed to increase their numbers. Come and hear how this was achieved and why it is successful, including the TRAs on each of the 3 Gypsy Traveller sites.

Kate and Rachel from the Scottish Parliament Participation and Communities Team (PACT) will present a parliamentary awareness session. PACT work with the Scottish Parliament Committees in their scrutiny role and help them to involve people with lived experience in their work and to support diversity and inclusion. This will be a workshop style format and will cover: the role of the Scottish Parliament, the difference between devolved and reserved matters, Scottish Parliament Committees, what an MSP does and how to engage with the Parliament.

Ewan from the Scottish Parliament Participation and Communities Team (PACT) will hold a workshop with people from rural areas to hear their views on improving rural healthcare.

The Scottish Parliament’s Health, Social Care and Sport Committee have committed to holding an inquiry into Rural Healthcare. Over the summer they will be asking people living in rural areas what they think the focus of this inquiry should be. What are the current challenges with Rural Healthcare and what offers the best opportunity for improving rural healthcare. People living in rural areas will be invited to share their ideas online via a digital engagement platform. TPAS members who are interested in sharing their views in person can do so during this workshop at the annual conference and help shape the focus of the Committee inquiry.

This workshop is for people who are living in rural areas.

Befriending Networks envisages a society that values befriending, recognises its importance, and provides befriending support to everyone who needs it. Since the late 1980s, we have offered support, training and guidance to hundreds of befriending projects across the UK and beyond and raised awareness about the ways befriending reduces social isolation and loneliness by improving wellbeing.

In this session we will explore the challenges facing Scotland’s communities and how befriending is contributing to greater community connection and the reduction in social isolation. There will be an opportunity to share examples from practice of running a befriending service. This will be an interactive session including presentation, activities, and discussion time.

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In 2016 Kingdom Housing Association commissioned TPAS Scotland to assess their approach and develop a plan to improve tenant participation. A lot has happened since then as our organisation grew and we worked together with our tenants and customers to improve their opportunities to influence the way we work and what we do. Come and hear about this exciting journey and please share your experience with us about how you think we can keep improving.

All over Scotland, social landlords are seeking to engage with young people to increase their involvement in the housing sector.  Come and join us as we uncover the methods we used to get young people on board,

forming positive relationships to understand the importance of housing, not only for them as young adults, but for their families.

Hear about the Youth Housing Network, a platform to support landlords to work together to engage young people.

We will unveil the group’s innovative city-wide project to engage and collaborate with young people through the groundbreaking Aberdeen Youth Housing Survey aimed at exploring youth knowledge and aspirations. 

This goes way beyond youth involvement  - young people designed, distributed, compiled and launched the survey themselves to ensure that captured views were authentic. The survey definitely achieved its aims, with 595 responses forming the basis of a report authored entirely by the young people themselves!

View slides

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Sponsorship in any form for the TPAS Annual Conference is a unique opportunity to raise your organisation’s profile across the social housing sector. By sponsoring or exhibiting with us you will be showcasing your organisation to the largest single gathering of tenants, residents and landlords in the country as well as a wide network of partners and Scottish Government representatives.