Reflecting on the NHF Leadership summit

I read a lot of blogs, articles and Tweets about SHOUT (Social Housing Under Threat) 

I despair at the continuous demand for more social housing when we are selling more and more of our social homes daily. We heard a couple of weeks ago that a possible "giveaway" of our social homes has been mooted too. I know that too much of what we hear from central Government is policy based in and around London and believe that there is an obvious, albeit unspoken, desire to release social homes to the market so they can be purchased and privately rented. The not-so-subtle message seems to be let's get rid of social homes altogether.

I am incensed when I read articles about Housing Associations having to dispose of large numbers of empty social homes that have more than two bedrooms. This is because the families that are most likely to need social homes have been made to endure some ill though- out benefit cuts which means that those homes are no longer ones that families can afford to grow into.

I attended a one day summit last week where one speaker made sense when he stated "We don't have a shortage of housing we just manage housing badly" he wasn't only referring to social homes either. A controversial statement especially in a room full of high earners with possibly more than one property in their individual portfolios who view their purchases as assets rather than "Homes" and some rather controversial ideas on how to correct the problem, as he sees it. I won't provide his comments in this piece they are available to read online somewhere, I am sure, and the test will be, will you? His name is Danny Dorling.

So many debates, so many different opinions and ideologies and so much money being spent discussing this awful situation. This situation that is causing so much suffering: fear of losing a home, fear of where am I going to live to that awful place where you just can't think about it anymore so you decide to end your life!

This is how serious the situation is, people are killing themselves through despair and we continue to discuss, to debate and even dispose of homes. I have been involved in this sector for eleven years and I have lost count of the number of conferences, seminars, summits, fringe sessions and debates I have attended where the subject is "we must build new homes.”

Eleven years and yet we are building fewer homes now than we were then and according to Mr Dorling (I happen to agree with him) managing what we have badly. It’s time we did better than this.

Jennie Ferrigno has been a social housing tenant for many years and has been the Chair of Red Kite Community Housing since the stock was transferred. She is committed to ensuring that the interests of tenants and leaseholders are at the heart of everything Red Kite does.

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