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It’s the start of a new era in more ways than one this month.
After a quarter of a century, the Chartered Institute of Housing has taken the decision to relocate its annual conference from Harrogate to Manchester – a move designed to reinvigorate and refresh what has become the must-attend event for all housing professionals.
Not entirely coincidentally, this month also sees 24housing unveil its new look with similar objectives in mind: to build on the foundations of a very successful product and adapt what we do to reflect the requirements of our readers.
In addition to increasing our font size (some ‘older’ members of our audience have requested a free magnifying glass as a subscription offer) we have added some other ingredients to the mix including more comment and opinion; more personality and perhaps most controversially for a sector renowned for its worthy but dull trade press – more humour.
At a time when the housing sector is trying to get to grips with Government policy that seems diametrically opposed to addressing the UK’s housing crisis, we felt it was time to relieve some of the stress and tension by taking the opportunity to laugh at ourselves and, of course, Grant Shapps and David Orr.
With that in mind we unleashed the author, humourist and former National Housing Federation press officer Brian Church on unsuspecting CIH chief Grainia Long.
Elsewhere we have introduced a number of new sections designed to showcase some of the sector’s more interesting personalities. These include Culture Vulture, where we ask searching questions about a leading housing figure’s favourite books, films and music; and King for a Day where one lucky person gets the opportunity to put the world to rights by explaining what they would do if they were put in charge of absolutely everything.
Finally, I would like to personally thank Lord Freud for agreeing to be the first subject in a new series of interviews I’ll be conducting in coming months. I hope he doesn’t mind the various detours into his private life.
Editor, 24housing Magazine