It has been an exceptionally busy month for the 24housing team.
In addition to putting together another action-packed edition of the magazine, we have also been planning for the future in more ways than one.
As part of this year’s Young Leaders Award, we accompanied our five finalists (see page 42 for details) to the National Housing Federation’s Leaders’ Forum in London. The event gave our candidates a chance to mix with some of the housing sector’s most senior figures and hear about some of the challenges that lie ahead.
What struck me as I started to drift off eight minutes into Andrew Sentance’s lecture on the global economy was that 80 percent of delegates were of a similar ilk – male, white, grey-haired and balding (I include myself in that analysis). As such, you do have to question how diverse the upper echelons of the sector can actually be in terms of their thinking and whether we have the breadth of opinion and level of foresight to take housing forward over the next 10 to 20 years. By which time the majority of chief execs in the room will be safely ensconced in their Extra Care apartments.
It was refreshing, therefore, to see how much our Young Leaders stood out. Clearly they were the youngest people there by some considerable margin but four of the five candidates are also female. As they grow in confidence, develop their housing knowledge and gain practical experience it would be nice to think they will be among those attending the Leaders’ Forum in 2020.
Later in the same week, the future of 24housing was being discussed at our first ever editorial focus group. As the magazine reaches its fourth birthday, we have decided it’s time for a revamp so we pulled together some of the sector’s finest minds, gave them a couple of sandwiches and asked them to pull apart what we do and suggest ways we can improve. Needless to say they didn’t take much encouragement.
The new-look magazine won’t be launched until June but it was an excellent opportunity to get some face-to-face feedback. What was absolutely clear was the continuing need for 24housing to play a leading role in helping to shine a light on the myriad challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for the housing sector and to provide a forum for organisations and individuals to discuss their views.
Back to the present, and in this green-flavoured edition we take a look at the timber revolution that is taking place in the West Midlands where a housing group has just opened its own factory that aims to deliver hundreds of new homes over the next few years (page 36). We also preview this year’s Ecobuild conference and exhibition.
Elsewhere in this edition, Anita Pati investigates the use of CCTV by social landlords and the growing support it has from the general public in the aftermath of last year’s riots (page 38) while Cornwall resident Jules Birch takes a look at the quiet housing revolution taking place on his doorstep.
Editor, 24housing Magazine