Joe Halewood is a housing consultant with over 20 years experience.
I focus upon how welfare reform policies such as the bedroom tax and benefit cap impact on the social housing model, on tenants and on landlords and develop solutions to those problems for social housing rather than dwell on and bemoan the many problems they cause.
Welfare reform (sic) – as reform means to improve – is all about people and how they react. It is not about bricks and mortar in the traditional housing view and welfare reforms policies put the social into social housing and bring it to the fore. The change needed for social housing is radical
The welfare reform agenda is a seismic cultural shift for social housing and yet not all of the consequences and impacts are known and many are speculative leading to uncertainty with an acceptance of the need to change yet not knowing how to change and in which direction to turn.
If social landlords and tenants don’t change and begin to challenge these reforms and keep their we have always done it this way culture there will soon be nothing left to fight for or over.
The radical nature of the policies require radical responses both reactively and proactively from a sector that is set in its ways and is very cautious by nature and habit.
Now with the May 2015 election result giving a Conservative majority and carte blanche to fully implement their reforms upon what they term the subsidised sector its going to be lively and busy the next 5 years.
Joe regularly speaks at conferences and seminars over welfare reform issues and provokes much discussion in lively debates. Yet words are nowhere near enough and actions need to be taken in order to preserve the social housing model
Updated 25 August 2015
Regrettably the alleged ‘social’ landlord is not going to fight for the social housing model and that means the humble social tenant is going to have to fight for it. Housing associations and other social (sic) landlords are only interested in their own plight and increasingly abandoning the social tenant while keeping up a pretence of caring for them with repeated hollow statements over their founding ethos and how they will always support the vulnerable. This is a sham and a pretence.
My posts will begin to reflect that in their usual forthright way and I will pull no punches and aim to provide purposeful advice to vulnerable social tenants even if that position appears to be one of gamekeeper turned poacher. It is time for tenants to fightback and to mobilise with the huge latent political power they have in numbering over 5 million voters in 3.9 million SRS households.
The fight for the greater cause, that of the social housing model which provides a safety net for vulnerable people created in the welfare state needs to be saved and if social (sic) landlords who are positioning themselves as the social tenant enemy have to be seen that way, then so be it!