Queens Cross chief appointed to new Commission role
The new Poverty and Inequalities Commission has announced that Shona Stephen, chief executive of Queens Cross Housing Association, is to be one of its eight new commissioners.
The Commission was established this year as an advisory body to provide independent advice and scrutiny to Scottish Ministers around poverty and inequality.
Shona has spent a career working to improve the lives of local people through social housing management, increasing opportunities for vulnerable young people and in roles to tackle fuel poverty and homelessness.
‘I am honoured to be appointed to this post by the Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Local Government, and look forward to bringing my 34 years of experience of working with, and learning from, individuals and communities who have been marginalised through poverty,’ said Shona
‘This experience has deeply influenced my understanding of how poverty negatively impacts on people’s lives in so many ways, and will give me another channel to stress how important it is to build on the strengths of communities and individuals to try and change their futures for the better.’
Queens Cross manages around 4500 homes in the north west of Glasgow and ‘Challenging Poverty’ is a central theme at the heart of its Business Plan.
‘At Queens Cross we have used hard evidence gathered through tenant profiles to understand the issues our area faces to ensure our strategic direction and plans respond to them directly.
‘I want to bring a similar evidence based approach to my new post, bringing our tenants’ voices to the commission as an effective guide to how housing and housing associations can play a role in poverty reduction.’
The Commission has a vital role to play in guiding government policy, monitoring progress and proposing solutions to bring an end poverty and inequality.
‘Policy needs to be partly shaped by those it is designed to help. It cannot be made in a vacuum from the top down, it must come from the grass roots up and that is a message I will be constantly leading with in the months to come,’ she added.
Shona will be donating the fee for her work to the Garscube Community Foundation Community Chest initiative, which provides small grants to help open up more opportunities for young people in the area.