Sunday, February 03, 2008

Social housing reform - priorities for housing associations

I spent the weekend at the National Housing Federation’s conference for housing association board members. One of the more interesting sessions was speech by Terrie Alafat, Director of Housing Strategy and Support

In an update on the government’s agenda of social housing reform, the main policy priorities with a bearing on housing associations were identified (according to my scrawled handwritten notes) as:

- Preventing homelessness.

- Addressing worklessness.

- Specialist services for the socially excluded.

- Tackling overcrowding.

- Improving choice and mobility for tenants eg choice based lettings, common housing registers.

And, of course, there is the challenge of ramping up house-building to about 70,000 affordable homes a year by 2010/11.

It was good to hear a range of policy concerns being talked about – without disproportionate emphasis on shared ownership.

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