February 2015

Living in temporary housing can put a baby’s development at risk

(Photography by Tom Hull. Posed by models.) Babies are some of the most hidden and most vulnerable victims of the housing crisis. Our new estimates suggest that in England around 15,700 0-2 year olds live in families who are classed as statutorily homeless, and we know this is just the tip of the iceberg. Pregnancy and… Read more

Written by Alice Haynes | Posted on 28th February 2015

Alice Haynes is Policy and Research Analyst at NSPCC

Website: http://www.nspcc.org.uk/allbabiescount

Our housing conditions have forced me out of work and into a carer role

People who are unable to walk and totally reliant on a wheelchair will find there are many barriers to finding somewhere to live. If you are lucky and your incapacity comes when you own your own home, you will be able to apply for a disability grant to help make modifications to your home. But… Read more

Written by Angela Cavill-Burch | Posted on 27th February 2015

Angela Cavill-Burch a professionally qualified Manager with International experience but currently full time carer for high level spinally injured Husband.

Our children are struggling to own homes half the size we did at their age

I’m from the baby boomer generation, brought up in an era of relatively affordable housing and used to an upward trajectory in the value of our homes. Whilst my generation is sitting on a good deal of housing equity, we are also feeling uneasy watching our children struggle to own homes half the size we… Read more

Written by Steve Hicks | Posted on 26th February 2015

Steve Hicks has led the Genie business since mid-June 2011 when he was appointed Managing Director. Created in 2009 under the umbrella of the social enterprise Gentoo Group, Genie enables customers to access home ownership without the need for a mortgage or deposit. Established amid the financial crisis of 2008, it was the answer to Gentoo’s Chief Executive Peter Walls question “Where are our children going to live?”

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

We need to recognise the role of regeneration in ending the housing crisis

For several years now the “R” word has been outlawed and banished from our sector’s vocabulary. We’ve been told, “Don’t mention the “R” word, it’s not part of the housing crisis”. I believe that the “R” word can and should play a critical part in tackling areas of low demand, low value and obsolete housing… Read more

Written by Iain Sim | Posted on 25th February 2015

Iain has been Chief Executive of Coast & Country Housing since 2002. Iain is Chair of North East Procurement and holds a number of other non-exec positions including the Board of My Home Finance. He started his career as a Trainee Housing Manager at Hamilton District Council in 1974. He steadily moved through a number of senior positions in Scotland, before moving to South Bedfordshire District Council in the early 1990’s, and joined Langbaurgh Borough Council in 1995 as Chief of Housing and Building Services. Iain quickly moved into the position of Director of Housing, at Redcar and Cleveland, where, in 2001, he led the team preparing for the Large Scale Voluntary Transfer of housing stock to Coast & Country Housing.

Who is to blame for the housing crisis?

I’m one of the lucky ones. When I first moved to London in 1978 I lived in a succession of shared houses before saving enough money for the deposit on a flat in Hackney Wick. It cost £27,000 in 1983 – about twice our combined salary – and in 1988 we sold it for £85,000… Read more

Written by Colin Wiles | Posted on 24th February 2015

Colin Wiles is an independent housing consultant and blogs regularly for Inside Housing. He is a founder member of SHOUT, the Campaign for Social Housing

Website: http://www.4socialhousing.co.uk/

78% of us agree government needs to tackle England’s 200,000 empty homes

“Empty homes will not solve the housing crisis”, is what some people say to me. I agree. We need to see more homes built. And, we need policies to make sure housing is truly affordable for people on low incomes. But, it is also plain to see the contribution that England’s 200,000 plus long-term empty… Read more

Written by Helen Williams | Posted on 20th February 2015

Helen Williams is chief executive of the Empty Home Agency, the independent charity that raises awareness on the waste of empty homes and campaigns for more empty homes to be brought into use for the benefit of those who need housing.

Website: http://www.emptyhomes.com

Good housing for all is a pillar of a civilised society

The facts on the housing crisis are as stark as the human misery it engenders; the number of young couples, families and individuals unable to get a home, let alone take a first step on the housing ladder, tells its own story of shattered dreams and broken relationships. All too many of us have experience… Read more

Written by Kate Henderson | Posted on 20th February 2015

Kate is Chief Executive of Britain's oldest charity concerned with planning, housing and the environment, the Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA). She is responsible for leading the Association’s efforts to shape and advocate planning policies that put social justice and the environment at the heart of the debate. Kate joined the TCPA in early 2007 and was appointed Chief Executive in 2010. She has raised the TCPA’s profile through a range of campaigns and policy initiatives, most notably around Garden Cities, affordable housing, poverty and climate change. Kate has been involved in a number of government panels and independent commissions including the government’s 2016 Zero Carbon Taskforce and the independent Lyons Housing review. Kate is a visiting professor at the Bartlett School of Planning at University College London and in 2014 Kate, and her colleague Hugh Ellis, wrote Rebuilding Britain Planning for a better future published by Policy Press.

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

Cuts to support services will cost society more in the long run

It is a truth universally acknowledged that prevention is better than cure. But, when making cuts to the local authority and health spending, it is often preventative support services that come under fire. Let’s be honest, they’re just easier cuts to make, politically and financially. At Horton Housing, we provide a wide range of crisis… Read more

Written by Paul Gartland | Posted on 19th February 2015

Paul Gartland is Chief Executive Officer, Horton Housing Association, a charitable organisation with services in Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees and North Yorkshire. It provides a range of housing-related support and training services designed to help people who are disadvantaged through social and economic circumstances, including drug and alcohol misuse, mental health, social exclusion, long-term unemployment and homelessness.

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

Victims of our broken housing system can be seen in all walks of life

Is the term “housing crisis” over dramatic? I hear some people ask. The dictionary defines “crisis” as a period of “intense difficulty or danger” so from my personal and professional experience I would categorically state that “crisis” is probably not dramatic enough. We have passed the crisis point in the UK and are now in… Read more

Written by Peter Bond | Posted on 17th February 2015

Peter is Regional Board Member with the CIH North West and Independent Board Member with South Liverpool Housing Group. In 2001 Peter graduated in Politics from the University of Liverpool and held a few different jobs before embarking on a career in housing. In 2006 Peter joined Cosmopolitan HA as a Tenancy Management Officer. This role gave Peter a great deal of experience delivering front line housing and customer services to residents in some of our countries most challenging communities. In 2010 Peter obtained his postgraduate diploma in Housing Studies from De Montfort University and the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH). Around this time Peter also became involved with South Liverpool Housing Group initially in the role as Independent Chair of the Scrutiny Panel and more recently as a Board Member. In June 2013 he won the Rising Stars competition that is jointly ran by both the CIH and Inside Housing. Peter is currently a Neighbourhood Team Leader at a North West based Housing Association in addition he is also a Chartered Member of the CIH and a member CIH North West Regional Board.

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

Britain needs not only more affordable homes, but more accessible homes as well

My wife and I are council house tenants. She has Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis and I am her full time carer. Generalisations about people in our position are really unhelpful. They create immediate preconceptions about the environment social housing tenants live in. They ignore the years we both spent owning our own home, when we still… Read more

Written by Rob Gershon | Posted on 16th February 2015

Rob Gershon is a social housing tenant and full time carer. Rob regularly posts opinion pieces on 24Dash, commenting on housing from a tenant's point of view. He is also a contributor to 24Housing magazine, and is a member of the Social Housing Under Threat (SHOUT) campaign for more social housing.