PARTNERS in the Convention of the South of Scotland (CoSS) have committed to working together to help address housing challenges in the region.
The CoSS meeting, held in Dumfries on Monday, heard a variety of views from across the region and recognised the specific housing challenges and opportunities locally.
Particular housing issues raised included lack of suitable homes in right locations, old housing stock with poor energy efficiency, skills shortages and a limited number of locally based house builders.
But opportunities include the possibilities for additional employment and investment and the positive impact for the vibrant and proud communities based here.
The meeting brought together developers, infrastructure providers, private landlords and Registered Social Landlords, as well as the Scottish Government, Dumfries and Galloway and Scottish Borders councils and South of Scotland Enterprise alongside other public agencies.
Deputy First Minister John Swinney said: “The Convention of the South of Scotland is an important platform that enables us to discuss how we support sustainable economic growth across the region and achieve the best possible outcomes for local communities and people.”
Annandale North Cllr Stephen Thompson added: “Suitable housing is a wide-reaching issue which impacts numerous other matters, such as the ability of businesses to attract new employees into our region, pressures on people’s health and wellbeing, and climate change through poor energy efficiency.
“Strategic planning can also utilise surplus land. By joining together with one voice through CoSS we aim to work collectively to address these problems.”