Friday, 28 April 2017

Colin Wiles

Colin Wiles

Colin Wiles is an independent housing consultant, and former housing association chief executive. He is a Fellow of the RSA and has written a regular blog for Inside Housing since 2011.

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  • Comment on: CIH secretary and housing academic dies aged 62

    Colin Wiles's comment | 21/04/2017 3:13 pm

    So sorry to hear this. I knew Bob when he was at West Hampstead HA in the eighties and then bumped into him many times during his time at the CIH at Brighton and elsewhere.. He was always cheerful, enthusiastic and passionate about his profession. He will be missed by many. RIP

  • Comment on: Time to end rent controls in social housing

    Colin Wiles's comment | 30/03/2017 4:37 pm

    "Basic commodities such as milk, bread, gas, electricity and telephony were once controlled in the UK but are now left to the market."

    Milk and bread, if produced domestically, will receive large subsidies from the EU, so not strict a free market. . The other industries are heavily regulated, but there is an element of competition that will help to keep prices dow. However, the key difference between these goods and housing is that there is no free market in land. It is strictly controlled though the planning process so house prices are very inelastic to demand pressures. The analogy doesn't really work. I think many people in the sector take the cyclical view that rent freedom means the freedom to stick rents up, regardless of the needs of tenants and their ability to pay. I don't think that's a paternalistic view, just hard reality. Housing associations do not operate in a free market.

  • Comment on: Time to end rent controls in social housing

    Colin Wiles's comment | 30/03/2017 4:37 pm

    "Basic commodities such as milk, bread, gas, electricity and telephony were once controlled in the UK but are now left to the market."

    Milk and bread, if produced domestically, will receive large subsidies from the EU, so not strict a free market. . The other industries are heavily regulated, but there is an element of competition that will help to keep prices dow. However, the key difference between these goods and housing is that there is no free market in land. It is strictly controlled though the planning process so house prices are very inelastic to demand pressures. The analogy doesn't really work. I think many people in the sector take the cyclical view that rent freedom means the freedom to stick rents up, regardless of the needs of tenants and their ability to pay. I don't think that's a paternalistic view, just hard reality. Housing associations do not operate in a free market.

  • Comment on: Jeremy Corbyn's housing association problem

    Colin Wiles's comment | 10/02/2017 4:58 pm

    Bob Crow used to say "I was born in a council house and `I'll die in a council house" - he actually lived in a housing association house. Even people like him failed to understand the distinction. Perhaps a world where all social housing was described as council housing would be no bad thing? At least no one would be confused.

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