There are 20 item(s) tagged with the keyword "housing".
I gave evidence in London today to Lord Whitty's inquiry on the affordable housing crisis.
My starting point was that to resolve this crisis local authorities need to play a key role again in providing a quality affordable housing option for all not just a safety net for some.
It's important to place where we have got too in a context, therefore I referred to the fact that the challenge for the new government of the day in 1997 was clearly about tackling the £22b backlog of repairs in council houses and bringing them up to the decent homes standard. However, the process which brought this about resulted in stock transfers, continuation of right to buy and demolitions.
The housing crisis is back. For many in local government dealing with the consequences of homelessness, overcrowding and poor stock condition, it has never really gone away. The difference is that the problem is now reaching previously untouched sectors of society – and it's about to get worse.
Home ownership is predicted to drop to 63%, its lowest level since the mid 1980s, a whole generation are 'locked out' of the housing market, and there is chronic lack of supply of new homes, according to the Oxford Economics' report that recently hit national headlines.
I could probably have written pages about what APSE wants from an incoming Government, however today someone asked me to do so in 100 words and I gave the following comment:
Spoke today at the Defend Council Housing conference London, ‘A manifesto for council housing.’ My talk was promoting two pieces of research APSE have recently completed the first a joint publication with ARCH, on the holistic benefits of retained council housing, ‘Under one roof'; and the second about the work UNISON commissioned from APSE on ‘A new generation of council housing'.
Chaired a debate today at APSE's Scottish Housing conference at Peebles Hydro. We had a first class panel of speakers with Alex Neil MSP the Housing and Communities Minister facing the opposition spokespersons for Labour, the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats, Michael McMahon MSP, Derek Brownlee MSP and Jeremy Purvis MSP. Dave Watson the UNISON Scotland organiser also spoke in the debate.
Thanks for giving me the opportunity to come along today and speak to you about the highly topical research APSE has recently completed for UNISON - A new generation of council housing, an analysis of need, opportunity, vision and skills.
Looking firstly at need, the origins of social housing in this country can be traced to a desperate need for quality, affordable, secure housing at the end of the 19th century. Just over 100 years later social housing is back at the forefront of public policy debate for the same reasons.
One of the first tests of David Cameron’s localist credentials, should he be elected as the country’s next Prime Minister, could be to see whether he completes the legislative process Housing Minister John Healey has started by announcing the dismantling of the national housing revenue account system.
Busy time at the LGA conference this week in Harrogate. Not only is APSE exhibiting at the conference but we also have two strategic forum dinners in the evening and I am also down to speak at one of the lunchtime housing fringes.
Speak at a Housing conference organised by Unite in London today. The event is opened by new Housing Minister John Healey, who is followed by Unite Deputy General Secretary Jack Dromey. Gail Cartmel of Unite then Chairs a debate with Sir Jeremy Beecham representing the LGA, Unite Head of Research John Earls and myself representing APSE.
Chaired an APSE / ARCH debate today at Parliament on Councils being allowed to once again build a significant level of council housing directly themselves.
It is amazing how quickly political theory changes, if you had talked about Councils being able to build council housing a year or two back you would have been laughed at and branded a Neanderthal. Now everyone recognises that it would make a good start to getting the economy moving again and provide much needed affordable housing.