Housing director, charity board member and housing association board member.
Comment on: Landlords enter merger talks
Maurice, you make a good point. I believe there's some research that shows HA's of about the size of the two that are proposing to merger are the optimum size. Therefore I think Tenantplus is right to say the tenants should seek reassurance as the reasons why this merger is a good thing. There's no harm in being sceptical.
I don't think there is anything inherently wrong with merging, the real test is whether the two HA's a are strategically good fit and one where tenants (and potential tenants) benefit.
Comment on: Around 1m food parcels handed out last year
One can argue about the stats and whether welfare reforms do or don't cause the need for food banks all day long. I've worked in social housing for 30+ years; met many poor people but never seen such haunted expressions as I've seen on the faces of those I've delivered food parcels to in recent months. There IS a crisis.
Comment on: Trio of ALMO employees guilty of theft
Congratulations to the employee who raised concerns. Not an easy call. Well done also to management who took the matter seriously and investigated.
Comment on: The right to buy deficit
I seriously doubt there was ever any real intention to replace homes on a 1 for 1 basis. That said, given its possible in theory, its a shame there is not more pressure on government to keep to the commitment.
A former senior civil servant once said to me that governments think in very long time scales - longer than most of us assume. What we've seen with Right to Buy in 1980 was the beginning of the decline and ultimate marginalisation of social housing. Irrespective of political colour, nothing has happened to reverse social housing decline. There is a direction of travel and all political parties seem to be signed up to it.
I was interested to hear on R4 that China will be building social housing to help stimulate it economy! I can recall the late Tony Benn making the same argument.
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