Last month’s ‘Power Players’ list of the most influential people in housing generated a huge response from readers. To our delight, the majority found it a fascinating and useful barometer of opinion within the sector. Slightly more surprising was the reaction we received from those who felt they had been excluded.
Let’s be clear, the list was not designed to serve as a definitive guide – we merely wanted to reflect the views of as many senior housing figures as possible. But what we should have made clear was that the majority of people polled were responsible for, or affected by, the Government’s radical housing policies for England.
I would therefore like to apologise to all those housing professionals in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland who were omitted from the process: To Keith Edwards of CIH Cymru who said the list “failed to recognise UK housing divergence" and was “therefore irrelevant to many”; to Paddy Gray, former CIH President and Professor of Housing at Ulster University, who questioned our methodology and bemoaned the fact he wasn’t invited to take part.
We can only put our hands up on this one and recognise the fact we need to spread the net wider next time. Indeed we are already planning to run separate lists in 2013.
I was also slightly taken aback by the reaction of some housing association chiefs to the list – especially those who failed to make the top 50. A couple of emails I received were particularly vitriolic. But as another housing boss pointed out the list ultimately works because it’s about ego. It will be interesting to see what happens next year.
On a separate note, it has been a very busy month for the 24publishing team. Not only have we just re-launched the 24dash.com website with a new-look and a vastly-improved commenting system, but we’re about to unleash a revamped 24housing on our unsuspecting public.
From June, things will be the same but different. We will keep all your favourite sections from the current magazine while adding some brand new features, which I’m keeping under wraps for now. We’re also going for more comment, more colour and more humour, without turning it into the Beano of course!
Back to this month’s issue, and in keeping with the repairs and maintenance theme, we take an in-depth look at Tenant Cashback, Grant Shapps’ much-lauded but rather vague and toothless attempt to encourage social landlords to empower their tenants to carry out DIY work on their homes.
Editor, 24housing Magazine