Working in the housing sector, our Reuse Consortium is empathetic to and engaged with the worsening housing crisis in Scotland.

According to Shelter Scotland, in the past year 16,263 children faced homelessness or were threatened with it— a 10% increase from the previous year.

Our Consortium does not work to directly alleviate homelessness, however, our business model allows for our buyers: Local Authorities, Housing Associations, and public sector bodies, to save money, which can be redirected to support their housing needs. It also offers them the opportunity engage with social enterprise suppliers, that provide additional social impact and support to their tenants.

Through the Consortium, buyers have easy access to a range of quality assured reuse furniture and white goods from local social enterprises, that create meaningful social and environmental benefits for their local communities.

For example, Consortium Member New Start Highland will call families or individuals who are going to receive Reuse Consortium furniture and offer food parcels for free as part of their service. Other consortium social enterprises will also provide additional goods when they hear about a recipient’s needs before making a furniture or white goods delivery.

The Scottish Government’s commitment to delivering 110,000 affordable homes in the next decade, with at least 70% designated for social rent, is a step in the right direction.

We welcome this step and would urge Local Authorities to consider furnishing new properties with quality reuse furniture, saving tonnes of waste from landfill, stretching budgets further in the process, and supporting social enterprises that benefit their local communities and new tenants at the same time.

Reuse items are around 20 – 60% cheaper than buying new, which will be reflected in our buyers spending when purchasing through the Reuse Consortium. In 2022/2023 the seven Local Authorities and a Housing Association that purchased through the Reuse Consortium collectively saved approximately £343,000 over buying new.

We hope to continue to grow out work, to provide meaningful support to buyers and tenants and supporting social enterprises and community organisations across Scotland in the process.

If you are interested in finding out more about the Reuse Consortium and how you can become a buyer, contact Rhoda at rhoda@circularcommunities.scot.