February 2015

I shouldn’t have to live with my dad just to save enough to buy my own home

When I moved out I swore I would never live back with my parents. But until recently I was living back at my dad’s. Life eh?! My story is typical of many of my contemporaries. Of all my mates only one has managed to buy a property, that zenith we all apparently strive to reach. … Read more

Written by Neil Goodrich | Posted on 13th February 2015

Neil Goodrich is Performance Analyst at Orbit Living, a housing policy geek from Worcestershire, keen focus on social justice, inequality and of course housing.

Website: http://www.orbit.org.uk/

The history of regeneration shows quick fixes are not sustainable – we need to commit to long term plans

Regeneration is a theme that most people recognise but seldom define. It feels positive and purposeful so why are so many regeneration programmes ultimately perceived as not achieving their original vision? At Aspire we work in some of the most deprived areas nationally, one of our core neighbourhoods Knut ton and Cross Heath was targeted… Read more

Written by Tim Edwards | Posted on 12th February 2015

Tim Edwards is Group Head of Regeneration at Aspire Housing. He has been with Aspire for eight years and undertaken a range of roles across the Group. Born in Stoke, Tim has a strong commitment to the local area and its wider regeneration. He is a member of the Enterprising Futures executive team with responsibility for business development, quality and performance. He also has responsibility for the management of Social Enterprise West Midlands, Realise our group charity and the regeneration and employment and skills teams which support neighbourhood and communities to maximise their potential.

Website: http://www.aspirehousing.co.uk/

The shortage of affordable housing is a key driver of homelessness

Homelessness is a crisis. It is devastating and shouldn’t happen to anyone. Every day at Crisis, we see the effects of homelessness on people’s health and wellbeing, their self-esteem, their skills, and their ability to work. That’s why our mission is to end homelessness for good. Newly published research from Crisis and the Joseph Rowntree… Read more

Written by Jon Sparkes | Posted on 11th February 2015

Jon Sparkes is the Chief Executive of Crisis, the national charity for single homeless people. Crisis works with thousands of homeless people each year helping them to turn their lives around and move away from homelessness, and campaigns for the changes needed to end homelessness in the UK.

Website: http://www.crisis.org.uk/

Good private landlords should be encouraged to develop their portfolios

Debate over private rented housing has never been more intense. Many tenant groups cry foul that landlords are ripping tenants off, forgetting that independent surveys show that the vast majority of tenants are satisfied with their property. Landlords get falsely accused of defending the status quo, despite the RLA’s comprehensive package of reforms outlined in… Read more

Written by Alan Ward | Posted on 10th February 2015

Alan Ward is Chairman of the Residential Landlords Association and a landlord himself.

Announcing the next phase of #HomesForBritain: Amplify the Message

Since Homes for Britain launched in September, it is fair to say that the campaign has taken over most of my waking hours – and some of my sleeping hours too. We’ve achieved a lot already. Homes for Britain and its supporters have been telling MPs and election candidates that they must end the housing… Read more

Written by Justine Harvey | Posted on 9th February 2015

Justine Harvey is Communications Officer at the National Housing Federation, working as part the team leading on the Homes for Britain campaign.

The housing crisis can be solved, we just need leadership

“I often joke that since buying property is so far out of my reach I’m actually quite lucky. I’ve been spared the agony of it all, from the harsh realisation of what your average industry wages can afford you, to the powerlessness of not knowing how to improve your lot. That said, media headlines warning of… Read more

Written by Kasia Murphy | Posted on 6th February 2015

Kasia is 27, works in PR and lives in London in a house share with friends

Did you know if you don’t register to vote, you may fail a credit check?

With the UK Parliamentary general election fast approaching on 7 May, it’s now more important than ever to ensure that you are registered to vote by the deadline on 20 April. Last year saw the start of the transition to Individual Electoral Registration (IER), which meant a move away from the Victorian head of household… Read more

Written by Alex Robertson | Posted on 5th February 2015

Alex Robertson joined the Electoral Commission in April 2008 as Head of Media and Public Affairs, becoming Director of Communication on a twelve month secondment in October 2010. He previously held senior communications and policy roles at the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (CAFOD) and Transport for London. He is currently a governor at Sunnyhill Primary School, Streatham.

Website: https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

Why we need reform of the green belt in London and the South East

Recent reports by the London Society and the Adam Smith Institute demonstrate there is growing evidence that a comprehensive review of the purpose of the Green Belt in London and the South East is required. London simply cannot meet its housing targets without it. Did you know? Only 9% of England is developed 13% of… Read more

Written by Mike Lambert | Posted on 4th February 2015

Mike Lambert FRSA, MRTPI, MCMI (57) is Planning Director of Countryside’s New Homes and Communities division. A town planner by profession, Mike has worked in both the private and public sectors and has overseen a wide range of large and small scale development. He was previously Chief Executive Officer at Renaissance Southend Ltd, where he was responsible for co-ordinating the investment plan for the town as part of the Thames Gateway initiative.

MPs accept they can deal with the housing crisis – it’s time we saw this reflected in policy

As housing professionals, we often talk about the housing crisis, but what about the general public – the voters who will decide the outcome of the forthcoming general election? When Ipsos MORI carried out a survey for us last month (January 2015), we found out just how widely the housing crisis is being felt. Three-quarters… Read more

Written by Grainia Long | Posted on 3rd February 2015

Chief executive, Chartered Institute of Housing

Never mind the bananas, here’s the housing crisis

There’s been a fiery row recently in my village near Oxford (officially the UK’s most unaffordable place). Sparked by the council’s consultation on its local plan and the potential for fields currently designated as Green Belt to be used for new homes, it’s brought out the worst in some people. It’s also reminded me of… Read more

Written by Ian Hembrow | Posted on 2nd February 2015

Ian Hembrow has worked in housing for almost 30 years, across the council, housing association and consultancy sectors. A senior consultant with PR agency Creative Bridge (www.creative-bridge.com), Ian is a Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of Housing and a passionate community activist. He’s helped to create an award-winning local volunteer litter project and is the national housing champion for The Big Lunch – the annual community get-together (www.thebiglunch.com). Ian is a regular contributor to trade media including 24housing, Guardian Housing Network and Inside Housing. He’s currently helping a new local community land trust to develop its first cooperative scheme.

Website: http://www.creative-bridge.com/