NATIONAL HOUSING WEEK
Ness Raison outlines a week of events focussing on housing problems.
March 30th to April 4th is National Housing Week. According to the Edinburgh co-ordinator of International Year ofShelter for the Homeless, Susan Hart. ‘it has been organised to help stimulate activity and raise public consciousness about the housing crisis. . . It will provide a focus on housing issues for a week. It is just one part of IYSH which will raise the profile ofhomelessness and put it on the political agenda. It will serve both to raise heat on the housing debate and fundraise to assist new projects.‘
The week will be launched on building sites in Edinburgh. Leeds. London and Birmingham. to publicise support for the link between building homes and creating jobs. Public figures at the Edinburgh opening will include Lord Wheatley. Scottish President of IYSH. Laurie Rowland. President of the Royal Institute of British Architects. Ken Fagan. President of Scottish Local Housing Authorities. and it is hoped members of the cast of Take The High Road.
Edinburgh is fortunate to have the COSLA bus in town for the week. The double-decker bus set off in February and intends to tour the whole of Scotland by November. Initially it was to advertise the dire state of housing in Scotland. with a local exhibition. leaflets and striking informative boards on aspect of housing (for example. the board on rural housing gives the surprising information that you are more likely to live in unfit housing in Shetland than in Glasgow). Yet it has proved so accessible and informal that people with housing problems ranging from how to buy a council house to how to claim Housing Benefit. have been seeking advice. As Sally Wainwright. campaign organiser. observes, it has become a ‘mobile housing office' and as a result of its success there are plans to create a permanent Housing Bus.
Ifyou have half an hour to spare, you can watch an excellent comic video on the bus on the problems of housing called About the Hoose. scripted by playwright Tom McGrath. author of Kora. The film opens with Dave Anderson of Wildcat being bombarded with shattered glass and rubble. to press home the point that Scottish housing is falling down. It contains an ingenious spoofon a TV family game show. Hunt a Home. in which a family. finding themselves homeless because they are unable to pay off their mortgage. compete for the star
prize — a matching white/azure garden furniture set. Irene Sunters from Take The High Road stars as Granny encountering housing problems in the country. and the film is accompanied by Cy Jack‘s excellent music. The video is directed by David Archibald. film editor for STV and organiser of the much-acclaimed Glasgow Film and Video Workshop.
Film has caught on as a medium for publicity. with Channel 4 showing the first of a three-part series on homelessness on the opening day of National Housing Week. Homeless is the 1987 response to Ken Loach‘s Cathy Come Home of 1967 — the housing situation is actually worse now. The film is made in Edinburgh. but is a microcosm of the situation throughout Britain. covering those who sleep rough. hostel dwellers. the young. and families who are homeless. The film suggests that the problem is hidden but huge. and that solutions exist. but not under the present political and economic climate. Part Three ofthe documentary will be shown in the House of Commons as part of NHW.
On 2 April two special reports are being launched. The Scottish Council for Single Homeless has compiled a report called ‘In Good Company‘." on shared housing for single people. based on a survey of thirteen housing agencies. Glasgow Special Housing Group‘s new report. ‘The Right to be Ordinary”. is based on research done by Jackie Gulstad into the housing needs of people with mental handicaps and mental health problems. and gives a series ofrecommendations.
On the same day. the estate agent. Slater. Hogg & Howison are handing over a giant cheque in East Kilbride to IYSH. The money has been raised through Home Aid. a scheme launched at the beginning ofthe year in which everyone selling a house is encouraged to donate £5 or more. and estate agents and solicitors are pledged to match the amount. Susan Hart and Lord Wheatley will be at the presentation.
Mon 30: Launch of National Housing Week on building sites in Edinburgh. Leeds. Birmingham. London.
Eleventh Hour Part One of a three-part serial on homelessness to be shown on Channel 4.
A _ \ ' 1. Mm“ Tue 31: The National Federation of Housing Associations hopes to anounce that over 100 MPs are visiting housing associations throughout Britain.
Link Housing Association Open Day for recently completed supported accommodation project for the mentally handicapped. Dalkeith 2-8pm.
Wed 1: Moray Firth Radio Feature. Thurs 2: Launch of SCSH report ‘In Good Company?‘.
Presentation ofcheque by Slater. Hogg & Howison to IYSH in East Kilbride.
Fri 3: Day for lobbying MPs.
Sat 4: Benefit for IYSH with band and disco at the Cafe’ Royale. Edinburgh. organised by TGWU housing branch. Tickets on door. Housing Rights Campaign rally in Salford.
Sun 5: Kingdom Housing Association celebrate the completion of a housing scheme for single people in Glenrothes.
The COSLA bus will be at the following venues from 30 Mar—10 Apr. 10am—4pm each day:
Mon 30: Wester Hailes. Shopping Centre Car Park.
Tue 31: Oxgangs. beside shops on Oxgangs Brae (am) and at Allermuir Court Car Park (pm).
Wed 1: Cameron Toll. Shopping Centre Car Park.
Thurs 2: Craigmillar/Niddrie. Craigmillar Castle Road opposite doctor‘s surgery.
Fri 3: Asda Car Park.
Mon 6: Kirkgate. Leith, Shopping Centre Car Park.
Tue 7: Bingham. outside Information Centre.
Wed 8: Pilton/Muirhouse. Pennywell Road/West Pilton Park corner. Thurs 9: Gorgie/Dalry. Tynecastle Terrace.
Fri 10: Grassmarket. Parking Bay beside Pelican Crossing.
The video. A boot The Hoose, can be .seen on the COSLA bus, or
borro wed for a day. It is on sale from Glasgow Film and Video Workshop, Dolphin Arts Centre, 7James Street, Bridgeton, Glasgow. [12 for individuals and housing tenancies; £20 for voluntary organisations; £40 for institutions. Contact numbers for National Housing Week: Susan Hart 03] 55 7 10/8; Alistair Cameron [JCS/103] 225 4143.
Issue no 37 20 March—2 April 1987
Cover Will Gaines.
4 Peter Cook
Not only. but also. . . the veteran comic talks satire to Stephanie Billen.
5 The Mosquito Coast
A change from the temple ofdoom: Harrison Ford reveals why he is moving in new directions.
6 Will Gaines
Energy. enthusiasm. talent — the idiosyncratic Will Gaines has it all on tap. The jazz hoofer. appearing at Focus on Dance talks to Alice Bain.
Listings Full guide to events this fortnight. Art 32 Music 23 Dance 2() Open and Aids Film 7 Events 40 Kids 38 Sport 37 Media 39 Theatre 16
Nightlife and Clubs Guide and Books.
Publisher Robin Hodge.
Editors Nigel Billen. Sarah I lemming. Associate Editor Allan Hunter.
Design Simon tisterson. Advertising Robin llodgc.Accounts Georgette Renwick. Richard Gray. Typesetting Jo Kennedy and Ilewer Text. Production Editor Paul Keir. Production Assistant Rupert Callender. Art Alice Bain. Books Alan Taylor. Classical Music Carol Main. Dance Alice Bain. Film Allan l lunter. Trevor Johnston. Folk/Jan Norman Chalmers. Kids Sally Kinnes. Media Nigel Billen. Sally Kinnes. Open Nigel Billen. Rock (Edinburgh) Alastair Mabbott. Rock (Glasgow) John Williamson, Listen! Alastair Mabbott. Andrea Miller. Sport Kenny Mathieson. Theatre Sarah Ilemming. Camera Edinburgh Make-up Services. Cover: Will Gaines CoverPhoto: Dave Hogan. Cover Design Nigel Billen and Patti Keir.
Published by The List l.td. l-illigh Street. Edinburgh. 5581191.
f l 5 per year. £8 for 6 months. payable to The List Ltd.
The List 20 March — 2 April 3