News

Supporting Gypsy and Traveller communities

Published: 18 Mar 2021 12:29

Funding for accommodation.

Up to £20 million will be invested to provide more and better accommodation for Gypsy/Traveller communities.

This funding, part of Scotland’s first long-term national housing strategy, will enable local authorities to improve existing sites and expand provision over the next five years. This builds on £2 million allocated to site improvement in 2020-21.

It comes as the timeline to complete the range of actions from the Gypsy/Traveller Action Plan has been extended by 18 months, due to the impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions. This includes continuing work to improve access to public services such as health and education, better engage with member of the Gypsy and Traveller community and tackle negative attitudes towards them..

Equalities Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said:

“A key commitment in the Action Plan was for the Scottish Government and COSLA to review housing and investment programmes to ensure the needs of Gypsy/Travellers were included going forward. I am delighted to announce that up to £20 million will be made available over the next five years for more and better Gypsy/Traveller accommodation as part of Housing 2040, Scotland’s first long-term national housing strategy.  

“The Gypsy Traveller Action Plan outlines the commitment of both the Scottish Government and COSLA to work together to improve the lives of Gypsy/Travellers. We have made some good progress and want to offer heartfelt thanks to all the community members who worked with us to develop the plan, and to take forward some of the actions. While we are still committed to delivering all the actions in the plan, we know that more time is needed because of delays caused by COVID-19. The Scottish Government and COSLA have therefore agreed to extend the life of the plan. It will now run for an extra 18 months and end in October 2022. This gives us the opportunity to follow up on actions that cannot take place until restrictions lift and prevents us from losing the momentum we’ve gained during the pandemic.”

Background

Gypsy Traveller Action Plan: letter from Scottish Government and COSLA - gov.scot (www.gov.scot)

Improving the lives of Gypsy/Travellers: 2019-2021 - gov.scot (www.gov.scot)

Housing to 2040 - gov.scot (www.gov.scot)

The Scottish Government has been working with partners to drive up the quality of accommodation on Gypsy/Traveller sites. Officials are developing a Design Guide, which will set the standard for new building of accommodation. These standards will be in keeping with the key principles of Housing 2040 such as accessibility and energy efficiency.

The Scottish Government is seeking the views of site residents and will ask Gypsy/Travellers to complete the online survey. If anyone needs help to complete the survey, or would rather give answers over the phone to someone who can fill it in on their behalf, they can call the Scottish Government on 0141 244 1162 or contact the Minority Ethnic Carers of People Project (MECOPP).

MECOPP Carers Centre

Design Guide Survey