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RSSColin Wiles

Colin Wiles is a former housing association chief executive, now working as an independent consultant. He has worked for large and small housing associations and local authorities in Cambridgeshire and London. He is current Chair of the Chartered Institute of Housing's Eastern Regional Committee and an elected member of the National Housing Federation's regional committee. Colin is the the author of numerous publications and articles on housing and related issues and most recently has been a contributing author to "The Big Society Challenge" published by Keystone Development Trust. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Housing, an Honorary Fellow at Anglia Ruskin University and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts

Blog posts by Colin Wiles

A very Bad Budget for Housing

March 21st, 2013 by Colin Wiles

Let’s be honest, this was a very bad Budget for housing. For the social housing sector the only tiny pieces of good news in the Budget Book are: a few more sites to be released to the HCA; £225 million for a measly 15,000 new affordable homes up to 2015, and the promise of a 10-year l...

Where is the Work?

December 17th, 2012 by Colin Wiles

The principal objective of the government’s welfare reforms is “to make work pay”. A laudable aim, but one that raises a question that has rarely been asked: where is the work? The current unemployment rate in the UK is 8.5% or 2.5 million. But according to the ONS, around 3 millio...

The Rise and Death of Localism

September 10th, 2012 by Colin Wiles

In 1873 Joseph Chamberlain was elected Mayor of Birmingham. Over the next hectic three years he purchased the gas and water companies and required every property to connect to the water supply. He set out six public parks, paved and lit the streets, cleared slums, built new roads, libraries and museums, re...

Octavia Hill - a housing legacy

August 14th, 2012 by Colin Wiles

This week sees the centenary of the death of Octavia Hill (1838 – 1912), often regarded as the patron saint of housing management.  Reading Gillian Darley’s biography you are struck by her sheer busy-ness. She set up several housing schemes for the poor and personally collected the rent, she co-founded t...

Time to make a noise?

June 21st, 2012 by Colin Wiles

I was at Manchester last week for the annual CIH conference. The new venue works well and most of the feedback was positive. It is a far grittier and more serious venue than genteel Harrogate, so a good move overall. Many important issues were discussed at the conference. The latest housebuilding figures s...

Planning - the “polite English version of apartheid”

March 3rd, 2012 by Colin Wiles

The National Trust has described me as one of its fiercest critics in the debate over its opposition to the draft National Planning Planning Policy Framework, so I guess I should keep up the pressure! In case you missed it, The Independent recently carried a revealing interview with the Trust’s Dire...

Putting our housebuilding in order

February 14th, 2012 by Colin Wiles

The re-written National Planning Policy Framework will be issued in the next few weeks. If the government fails to water down the original document you can expect a fresh burst of hysterical scaremongering from the NIMBY brigade at the National Trust and the Council for the Protection of Rural England.   ...

A Nation divided by its Housing

January 18th, 2012 by Colin Wiles

In case you missed it, Savil's produced a disturbing report last year on the shape of the UK's residential property market. The unequal distribution of wealth highlighted in the report, both between the generations and between the regions, should worry policy makers, planners and anyone who is concer...

Planning and the silent majority

October 28th, 2011 by Colin Wiles

Consultation on the draft National Planning Policy Framework ended last week. It's been one of the most heated and extraordinary public policy debates of recent times, with the government and developers pitted against the National Trust, the Womens' Institute and an array of environmental groups. Th...

Lies, damned lies and the planning debate

September 20th, 2011 by Colin Wiles

Andy Boddington, in his blog on this site, attacks the draft National Planning Policy Framework and says we need a world class planning system. I couldn't agree more. The trouble is that he and his chums at the CPRE have consistently misrepresented the draft NPPF for their own ideological ends. If you don’t...