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THREE-YEAR PROGRAMME TO TACKLE DISADVANTAGE ACROSS SCOTLAND

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Communities Scotland, the Scottish Executive's housing and regeneration agency, has published its corporate plan fo...
Communities Scotland, the Scottish Executive's housing and regeneration agency, has published its corporate plan for 2003-06. The plan sets out its programme of work for the next three years, which includes funding 18,000 new and improved homes across the country.

Launching the plan, communities minister Margaret Curran said the agency was charged with working with local authorities, communities and organisations across Scotland to improve the quality of life in disadvantaged areas. She added:

'The Scottish Executive wants a Scotland where everyone can enjoy a decent quality of life. Too many lives are damaged by poor housing, anti-social behaviour, a blighted environment and poverty. We are tackling the barriers that create this inequality, and we want to ensure that people are heard, and their views count. Communities Scotland is a key delivery mechanism to bring about this change.

'The Corporate Plan sets out a programme of work for the next three years to help meet our goals. I fully support the agency's clear intention to work with others, because by combining expertise and resources at national and at local levels we can get the best results for the people of Scotland.

'I particularly want to emphasise that Communities Scotland has a strategic role to play in delivering the Scottish Executive's policies across the country through its network of national and local partnerships.'

Angiolina Foster, Communities Scotland's acting chief executive, said: 'Ministers have set us a clear agenda which identifies our priorities for the next three years. We will target investment to make additional resources available to tackle poverty, regenerate communities and improving the quality of housing.

'We will also work with others to raise standards in the delivery of services and in the regeneration of disadvantaged neighbourhoods. And we will improve understanding of the problems experienced in these areas and the best ways of tackling them.'

The agency will:

* increase the supply and quality of Scotland's housing by approving 18,000 new and improved homes for social rent and low cost home ownership between 2003 and 2006

* ensure the installation of central heating in 17,000 homes so that all private sector homes occupied by elderly people and all housing association and local authority homes have central heating by 2006

* improve the targeting of regeneration resources to tackle disadvantage through the management of the Social Inclusion Partnership programme and the development of guidance and support to integrate them with Community Planning Partnerships

* deliver a programme of inspections of registered social landlords and of local authority housing management functions

* deliver the Scottish House Conditions Survey

* strengthen community ownership through supporting local authorities as they develop strategies for transferring their houses, subject to the wishes of councils and tenants

The Corporate Plan 2003/06 is available in fullor in summaryformat.

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