Housing Affordability Working Group


The Housing Affordability Working Group brings together stakeholders and experts from across Scotland’s housing sector with the aim of reaching a consensus on a shared understanding of affordability. The group is intended to be a short-life working group with members playing an active role in realising the shared understanding of housing affordability for Scotland.

Terms of reference

Members commit to attending scheduled working group meetings (where not possible, a consistent deputy should be nominated).

Guests may be invited to meetings to speak to specific agenda items with prior agreement from members.

Proposed principles to guide the work of the group:

  • person-centred perspective – affordability is viewed from the standpoint of the household rather than the market place
  • equality and anti-discrimination at the heart – women, minority ethnic people, young people, disabled people, migrants and refugees should have equal access to affordable housing and barriers to this should be understood and addressed
  • human rights-based approach – housing is not affordable if its cost threatens or compromises enjoyment of other human rights
  • a system wide approach – which considers the interactions between the social rented sector , private rented sector and owner occupation, balancing affordability, decarbonisation, quantity and quality of provision

Arrangements for meetings

  • the working group will meet every two to three months and four to six times in total, unless otherwise agreed by the chair and members
  • Professor Gibb will take on chairing responsibilities
  • meeting agendas, supporting papers and minutes will be provided by the Scottish Government’s Homelessness Unit, in collaboration with Professor Gibb
  • members will have the opportunity to share written updates before meetings to keep meetings focused and efficient
  • papers will be circulated to the group in sufficient time and no later than the week before the meeting takes place
  • a note of meeting will be taken and circulated to group members for comment in timely fashion. Agreed actions will be assigned owners
  • once agreed, minutes of meetings will be published on the Scottish Government’s website


The group will:

  • critically review the main working definitions of affordability and the different uses of affordability in policy and practice
  • agree the process of consensus-building
  • commission focus group co-ordinators and co-design focus group work
  • agree a set of provocations by different speakers for future meetings
  • test out and debate a shared understanding of affordability for Scotland
  • agree draft recommendations for Scottish Ministers


The group is chaired by the Professor Kenneth Gibb, Director and Principal Investigator of the UK Collaborative Centre for Housing Evidence (CaCHE), and Professor of Housing Economics (Urban Studies) University of Glasgow.


  • Callum Chomczuk, Chartered Institute of Housing
  • Tony Cain, Association of Local Authority Chief Housing Officers
  • Mike Callaghan, COSLA
  • Shona Mitchell, Home Group
  • David Bookbinder, Glasgow and West of Scotland Forum of Housing Associations
  • John Blackwood, Scottish Association of Landlords
  • Alice Tooms-Moore, Shelter Scotland
  • Aoife Deery, Citizens Advice Scotland
  • Dr Gillian Young, Newhaven Research Scotland
  • Dr Madhu Satsangi, School of Social and Political Sciences, Glasgow University
  • Dr John Boyle, Rettie and Co.
  • Helen Shaw, Scottish Housing Regulator
  • Sean Baillie, Living Rent
  • Prof Angela O'Hagan, Deptartment of Social Sciences, Glasgow Caledonian University
  • Colin Stewart, Social Rented Sector representative
  • Rhiannon Sims, Crisis
  • Bel Ingham, Private Rented Sector representative
  • Fionna Kell, Director of Policy, Homes for Scotland
  • Eli Harji, Scottish Federation of Housing Associations
  • Edward Pybus, Homeless Network Scotland

Observers from Scottish Government

  • Andrew Weild
  • Janine Kellett
  • Nicole Pettigrew
  • Joseph Jobling, Scottish Government


Back to top