This is a special short blog for #HousingDay, an event that celebrates the positive impact of social housing on thousands of people across the UK, shows off the positives of working in the sector and living in social housing, and why it’s so important. I write about housing some of the time on this blog, mostly from an abstract position – I don’t work in the housing sector, I’m not a housing professional or an expert, but it is at the top of my list of issues to talk about, raise the profile of and debate how we improve provision for everyone. Whenever I travel abroad I seek out interesting housing schemes to visit, wherever I am and I’ve seen a few in now all over the place, in China, Hong Kong, The Caribbean, Amsterdam, France, Hungary, Austria, Germany, Turkey, Spain, Portugal and even in the Maldives! Many of them fascinating, different and challenging in equal measure. Regular readers of this blog will know I use the picture of social housing in Vienna regularly in my housing blogs – I visited it a few years ago and it’s such a great scheme that I just can’t resist using it again.
For #HousingDay I thought I’d pick out the three most popular blogposts I have written on housing since I first started this blog just over a year ago and here they are:
- Pick ‘n’ mix housing policy – my thoughts on party conference season and why it seems politicians are still not taking the housing crisis seriously enough. I also make some comments about a couple of recent books that contribute to the debate – Housing Where’s the Plan? by Kate Barker and Rebuilding Britain by Hugh Ellis & Kate Henderson.
- Housing in a civilised society – how did we get it so wrong? – as a novice to the housing debate I talk about how it just doesn’t make sense the way governments in recent decades how tried to address the issues, how our approach is just not logical and how the so called solutions could never be expected to work!
- Bristol needs more homes – one of my many blogs about issues in Bristol, my adopted home town, where there is a growing affordability crisis. This blog looks at recent attempts to draw up a plan for housing in the city and questions whether it will go far enough.
Housing is one of the most fundamental issues we face as a society, yet it yo-yos in and out of the opinion polls in terms of whether or not the public think it is an issue of importance, and falls on and off political agendas. Housing Day is a great opportunity to debate the issues and to talk about all the positives, to remind people why social housing is so important and to help point the way towards a better housing future.