Housekeeping Scotland: Glasgow, next Saturday

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Next Saturday I am in Glasgow. See you there?


Houses are not just walls with price tags. Houses are homes, which are the centre of communities, and it is communities which form places.

The Housekeeping Scotland Convention is the start of a long term Common Weal project aiming to build a genuinely transformative agenda for housing in Scotland that re-establishes homes as the beating heart of communities and places, not as financial assets for speculative gains.

This project therefore seeks to address the two facets of the housing crisis, equally pervasive: an economic one, with sky-high rents and ever-rising inequality between those with property and those without, and an alienation one, with new housing built without community in mind and the forces of gentrification and under-investment displacing and undermining communities within our built environment.

This twin crisis fused together in the tragedy of Grenfell tower, which if it does not act as a spur to fundamentally change our approach to homes, communities and places nothing will.

The aim is to have good housing with the infrastructure and public amenities that make good communities – then we can give people great homes and great communities in which to make a home.


10.30-11am: Registration

11-11.20: Introduction Paul Farrell West Whitlawburn Housing Co-op

11.20-12.50: Session 1 - Homes Not Assets: Towards a new economic model for housing

Prof Richard Murphy - How Tax shapes the housing market and how to change it

Chris Cook - Homes for Scotland...Without breaking the bank

Sarah Glynn - Publicly owned, democratically run: Municipal homes for the 21st Century

Malcolm Fraser - 7 steps to a new financial model for the built environment

12.50-1.30: Lunch

1.30-2.50: Afternoon - split sessions

Session 2a (upstairs): Market Failure - the policy changes we need to fix the housing market

Prof David Adams: The land lay still? Activating land reform to solve the housing crisis

Andy Wightman MSP: Reining in the rentiers: controlling the power of propertied wealth from buy-to-let to Air Bnb

Clare Symonds: How to make planning democratic and work for people

Amanda Burgauer: Countryside in crisis: Why fixing housing is key to the future of rural Scotland

Session 2b (downstairs): No one left behind - protecting the universal right to decent housing

Najimee Parveen: Scotland’s black & minority ethnic community, employment and housing justice

Susie Fitton: Our Place, Our Space: Making Scotland’s housing stock accessible for disabled people

Lynne Tammi: ‘If not here, where?’ The Gypsy/Traveller community and housing access

Fiona Mcphail: How do we eradicate homelessness in Scotland?

3-4.20pm: Session 3 - Design for life: creating communities & places that are good to live in

Dr Kirsten Mckee - From past to future: a history of housing the communities of Scotland

Willie Miller - Urban design for the common good: changing the way we do development in Scotland

Neil Sutherland - Homes for life: How do we create low-carbon, high-quality housebuilding across Scotland

4.20pm-close: Conclusion

Robin McAlpine Common Weal


Professor Richard Murphy is a UK chartered accountant and political economist. Richard was appointed as Professor of Practice in International Political Economy at City University in September 2015 where his academic research focuses on tax, tax gaps and tax abuse. He also directs Tax Research UK and writes, broadcasts and blogs extensively, the latter at

Robin McAlpine is Director of Common Weal, columnist at CommonSpace and author of Determination: How Scotland can become independent by 2021.

Malcolm Fraser is an award winning architect based in Edinburgh. He led and authored the Scottish Government's Town Centre Review in 2013. Fraser sits on the board of Common Weal and was spokesperson for Architects for Yes during the referendum campaign. Malcolm is author of Housekeeping Scotland: a new agenda for housing in Scotland, published by Common Weal last year.

Sarah Glynn is an academic and architect. She has been a Lecturer in Human Geography at the University of Edinburgh and a Teaching Fellow in Geography at St Andrews. She is author of Where the Other Half Lives: lower income housing in a neoliberal world, published by Pluto Press in 2009. Sarah also published Housing for a Better Nation in 2014, a Common Weal paper on a new vision for housing in Scotland.

Neil Sutherland is an Architect, Business Owner and Managing Director of MAKAR. MAKAR has pioneered a response to local renewable and often marginalised resources – timber and people - into a high skilled, high wage organisation delivering around 20 houses across Scotland per annum. MAKAR has evolved an 'engineered construction approach' which integrates design, manufacture and delivery, and delivers some of the highest energy performance housing in the country from non toxic and local resources.

Professor David Adams is the Ian Mactaggart chair of Property & Urban Studies at the University of Glasgow. He is one of Scotland's new Land Commissioners as part of the Scottish Land Commission established by the Scottish Government last year to make recommendations to the Scottish Government on land reform. His research interests focus on planning and land policy, real estate developers, speculative housebuilders, brownfield redevelopment and place quality.

Clare Symonds is the founder and Chair of Planning Democracy, which campaigns for a fair and inclusive Planning system in Scotland. Clare has been recognised in the Scottish Sustainable Development Forum’s Green List for her work to improve community engagement in Scottish planning. Clare has worked on community empowerment issues in both local government and the voluntary sector strengthening her belief that a robust, democratic planning system is crucial for shaping fairer and more sustainable places.

Dr Kirsten Carter McKee is a Research and Teaching Fellow at the University of Edinburgh. Her work includes looking at cultural landscapes and the communities that live within them from a historical context, in order to understand the context of our present day environment. She is a staunch believer in the work of Patrick Geddes, and believes that people should be at the heart of design within our urban realm.

Andy Wightman is Scottish Greens MSP for the Lothians and spokesperson on Local Government. Andy is a researcher and activist who is widely known for his work on land issues, and is the author of 'The Poor Has No Lawyers: Who Owns Scotland and How they Got it'.

Najimee Parveen has been Director of Positive Action Training in Housing (PATH) Scotland since 1999, a charity set up to provide training and work experience in housing-related fields of employment to people from ethnic minorities who are under-represented in the housing sector. Prior to this work Najimee has been policy and campaigns officer for the Commission for Racial Equality in Scotland and worked on a number of campaigns including “Lets Kick Racism Out of Football” and the “Visible Womens’ Campaign” which was designed to challenge stereotypes and promote positive role models of Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) women.

Amanda Burgauer is chair and director of the Scottish Rural Parliament (Scottish Rural Action), which is independent of government and aims to be a powerful voice for the people of rural Scotland. Amanda was part of the Scottish Government's Planning Review Group which informed the upcoming Planning Bill.

Chris Cook is a senior research fellow at the institute for security & resilience studies at the University College London, where his research focuses on legal structures and financial instruments. Chris works mainly in Scotland with Nordic Enterprise Trust to develop new partnership based enterprise models and related financial products and services.

Susie Fitton is Policy Projects Officer for Independent Living in Scotland, which aims to grow and strengthen the Independent Living Movement in Scotland and to support disabled people to have their voices heard by policy and decision makers. ILIS recently published Our Place; Our Space - a report on disabled people's housing issues from the recent Disabled People's Summit in Scotland.

Lynne Tammi is CEO of Article 12, a human rights and equality charity which advocates for the rights of some of the most marginalised young people, including young Gypsy/Travellers. Article 12 has hosted the UN Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing at Gypsy/Traveller sites in Scotland, advocating for better accommodation for the community. Lynne is a post-graduate researcher at the University of Dundee on the social representation of Gypsy/Travellers. She recently published an article on OpenDemocracy in response to Scottish Tory MP Douglas Ross' anti-Gypsy/Traveller comments.

Paul Farrell is Director of the West Whitlawburn Housing Co-operative. West Whitlawburn has been a voluntary tenant run housing co-operative since 1989, the 5th biggest of its kind in the UK. In that time it has transformed a dilapidated estate into high-quality affordable housing, providing social, recreational and educational services and events, and establishing a biomass district heating system to tackle fuel poverty, with tenant democracy and empowerment at its heart.

Willie Miller is a designer and urbanist based in Glasgow. He is Principal of design practise Willie Miller Urban Design and projects he has worked on include a Healthy Sustainable Neighbourhoods model for Glasgow City Council and a new town centre and riverfront strategy for Dumbarton. Willie is on the editoral board of Urban Realm magazine and is involved in urban design education at Strathclyde and Glasgow University.

Fiona Mcphail is principal solicitor for Shelter Scotland. Fiona has first hand experience at advising clients experiencing homelessness and has developed a human-rights based approach to housing law.

Speakers and convention timetable subject to change.

The venue is wheelchair accessible. Please let us know any other arrangements which would improve access to the event. Click here for further information on accessibility.

Contact for more information about the event.

Registration opens 10.30am (11am start).