Humza Yousaf, Secretary for Health and Social Care and Mairi McAllan, Minister for Environment, Biodiversity and Land Reform made a joint Ministerial visit to Lanark-based Clydesdale Housing Association this week.
Mr Yousaf and Ms McAllan toured the CHA Community Hub and learned about the supporting role the Association plays in the rural community – partnerships with the local food bank and a furniture initiative, fortnightly energy advice surgeries, National Lottery-funded rechargeable heat pads for elderly tenants and the distribution of Scottish Government-funded energy vouchers to all tenants.
In a meeting with Maggie Botham, Chair of Clydesdale Housing Association and Chief Executive, Joe Gorman, the Ministers also heard more the groups that regularly use the CHA Community Hub to deliver activities such as befriending, a humour club, a ukulele club, English speaking classes, tenants’ group meetings, parent and toddler sessions as well as a knitting group.
Mr Yousaf took time to speak with the Association’s staff members on issues relating to fuel poverty, investment in heating solutions, dampness and mould, medical adaptation funding and need to increase the supply for more new social housing in rural areas. The Health Minister was quick to acknowledge the fundamental role played by quality housing in delivering health and wellbeing outcomes for people. He praised the great work Clydesdale Housing Association does for its tenants and the wider rural community.
“We were delighted that Humza Yousaf and Mairi McAllan took time to visit Clydesdale Housing Association and the CHA Community Hub. It was a great opportunity to showcase our important work and the fantastic facilities offered at the Hub. Mr Yousaf was keen to hear about our activities and the challenges we face in delivering quality homes and services in the rural setting. We are looking forward to 27 March when Mairi McAllan will officially open the Hub.”
Mairi McAllan MSP said, “I was delighted to welcome Humza Yousaf MSP to Lanark and to Clydesdale Housing Association. Most of all I was so proud to have the brilliant CHA team tell the Glasgow MSP, Health Secretary and candidate to be Scotland’s next First Minister, about all the brilliant work they’ve been doing in Clydesdale – especially in recent, difficult times.
In joining me in Lanark and as part of his campaign to succeed Nicola Sturgeon, Humza launched his ‘Rural Housing Pledge’. His plan, among other things, would see unused properties brought back into use by local tradespeople, and made available for key workers and those requiring homes in rural areas. I think this could be a great move in rural communities like Clydesdale and I was glad he was able to discuss rural housing more generally with CHA.”
Pictured (left to right): Mairi McAllan MSP, Humza Yousaf MSP, Maggie Botham, Chairperson and Joe Gorman, Chief Executive.
Construction on the CHA Community Hub was completed in February 2020 and was funded by Clydesdale Housing Association, Lanarkshire Leader, the South Lanarkshire Renewable Energy Fund and the Scottish Landfill Communities Fund.
The CHA Community Hub will be officially opened on 27 March 2023 by Mairi McAllan MSP and Minister for Environment, Biodiversity and Land Reform.