London's Housing Scene

9 October 2012, Mazars

The latest in a series of meetings to review and analyse the landscape in which London’s funders of the voluntary and community sector are operating, this meeting reviewed changes in housing policy and welfare benefits that will have a significant impact on London,  much of it negative. Funders also looked at practical examples of positive investment in housing and homelessness. 

Anne Power, Head of LSE Housing and Communities emphasised how constrained London's housing supply is, drawing attention to issues suchas under-occupation, inflexibility and growing inequality in the capital. See Anne's slides here.

Rachel Blake, East London Housing Partnership detailed the work eight boroughs are doing together including bringing together a panel of third sector providers as part of a Single Homeless project and establishing standards of accommodation through the Setting the Standard project. See Rachel's slides here.

Alan Benson, Head of Housing Strategy and Services, Greater London Authority demonstrated how influential a player the Mayor has become in housing, following a steady devolution of power from central government. The Mayor’s priorities around housing align with his intention to increase growth and lead London out of the recession. See Alan's slides here.

Anabel Palmer, Social and Economic Regeneration Director, Southern Housing Group challenged the audience to consider who we are building  homes for. She suggested that increasing the supply of housing is potentially ineffective if families and individuals are not supported on other issues suchas employment. She also explored other issues including diversity and flexibility of tenure.

Heather Petch brought the meeting to a close with a presentation which stressed the urgency of working on housing and homelessness. She listed ten ways in which funders of all kinds could make good investment in tackling housing challenges, starting with the need to support advocacy and campaigning, for example of the human and financial cost of homelessness.

Funders also discussed a range of projects described by representatives of London Rebuilding Society, Commonweal Housing, Metropolitan Migration Foundation, London Housing Foundation and Homeless Link.

Useful publications and articles
A better fit? Creating housing choices for an ageing population
April 2012, Shelter
Bricks or benefits? Rebalancing housing investment
May 2012, Shelter 
The case for investing in London's affordable housing 
June 2011,Christine ME Whitehead with Tony Travers, LSE London
The Coalition’s housing and planning reform package: focus on planning
September 2012, Andrew Ross, Local Government Information Unit
Housing costs risk piling pressure on Outer London services
2011, London's Poverty Profile, Trust for London
How can we build more homes in Britain?
Institute for Public Policy Research, 2012
Is London's rough sleeping strategy working? 
July 2012, Liam Kelly, The Guardian
Tenants spending twice as much on accommodation as homeowners
July 2012, Randeep Ramesh, The Guardian
Tenancy Strategies
July 2012, Shelter
Together at Home: a new strategy for housing
June 2012, IPPR
Understanding Supply Constraints in the Housing Market
July 2012, Shelter