Joe Halewood is a housing consultant with over 20 years experience in and with a national profile across social housing.
Over the last few years Joe has concentrated on the evils of the welfare reform policies such as the bedroom tax and also developed the systemic flaw theory of the overall benefit cap which sees more and more tenants having their benefits levels cut each year because rents rise faster then the benefit cap. Back in 2002 and again in 2009 Joe heavily criticised the last Labour governments for the pig’s ear they made of supported housing with the Supporting People programme and most criticism is based on the economics cutting through the political spin that MPs so love to use!
Joe approaches housing issues from his supported housing background and maintains mainstream housing is about bricks and mortar, but supported housing is crucially about people; something the HB and welfare benefit reforms will emphasise to mainstream social landlords what customer service really means. That approach enables a far more empathic appreciation of the plight of the welfare refrom affected tenant.
Social landlords cannot challenge the welfare reforms if they don’t have empathy with and know their tenants and what the welfare reforms mean in terms of impact and consequence to tenants. If you dont approach welfare reforms from this people perspective you fail to see its full impact. There will be a rude awakening for those who only see the bedroom tax and direct payments as threats to their income (the bricks and mortar view) and not as much bigger issues for their tenant customers that will impact far more widely on their business or the people view.
The welfare reform agenda is truly a seismic shift for social housing and yet not all of the consequences and impacts are known. Interesting and depressing times ahead for social landlords and tenants.
If social landlords and tenants don’t challenge these reforms now there will soon be nothing left to fight for or over. Joe regularly speaks at conferences and seminars over welfare reform issues and provokes much discussion in lively debates.
Throughout 2013 and into 2014 Joe has focused on the bedroom tax working unpaid with many grassroots groups and highlighting the faults with and sought to get rid of the pernicious bedroom tax and has delivered training on their behalf raising income for them to continue their sterling work.
Please feel free to contact Joe on any of the above at firstname.lastname@example.org
The above is a new email address and comes from many compliments over how I write about the welfare reforms and put these into lay language. I fully intend to step up my work in this area to help as many tenants as possible over the next year and I have finally decided after numerous requests to add a donate button below. There is no obligation to donate at all and if you cant or dont I will still continue to release hopefully good advice to help. If you do wish to donate then more time can be spent advising victimised tenants on how to fight the bedroom tax and wider welfare reforms.