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Leading Housing Professionals gather for Conference of Isles

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Leading Housing Professionals gather for Conference of Isles


Published by LauraMcKinlay for Gentoo Group in Central Government and also in Care and Support, Communities, Housing, Local Government

Conference of the Isles Conference of the Isles

The UK and Ireland’s leading housing professionals will gather in Glasgow next month  to examine why social housing has failed to secure a place at the top table of politics.

The Conference of the Isles is being held just over two weeks before the Scottish Referendum and eight months before the next UK General Election.

Chair of the conference, Professor Paddy Gray, said it will debate why social housing - despite its huge importance in terms of social and economic value - is a “poor relation” in terms of political priorities and “simply a footnote” in parties’ manifestoes.

Speakers at the Conference of the Isles nclude Steve Stride, Chief Executive of Poplar HARCA, the housing and regeneration community association in east London, and the current President of the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH).

He will be joined by Grainia Long, Chief Executive of the CIH; Dr Mary Taylor and Cameron Watt, Chief Executives respectively of the Scottish and Northern Ireland Federations of Housing Associations; and Kathleen McKillion, Head of Development at the Irish Council for Social Housing.

Other speakers include John Connor, Chief Executive of the Housing Agency Republic of Ireland; Peter Walls, Chief Executive of one of England’s largest housing organisations, Sunderland-based Gentoo; Ken Gibb, Professor in Housing Economics (Urban Studies) at The University of Glasgow; and Alastair McIntosh, Chief Executive of the Housing Quality Network.

“This is without doubt a key event in the 2014 UK social housing calendar, with a stellar list of speakers,” said Professor Gray, of the University of Ulster and one of Northern Ireland’s leading authorities in social housing.”

The event is being hosted by Wheatley Group, Scotland’s largest housing, care and community regeneration organisation. Chief Executive Martin Armstrong said: “These are momentous times for affordable housing and it is vital we come together, as a sector, to debate the challenges we face and the solutions we need to deliver.”

Professor Gray added: “At this crucial time in the history of the United Kingdom, with the Scottish Referendum looming and a UK election around the corner, it is vital we push social housing up the political ladder to ensure we are properly represented at the highest end of the electoral spectrum.

“Too often, politicians talk a good game about affordable housing, but stubbornly refuse to give it the political priority it so clearly deserves.

“This conference aims to bring our sector together to push the cause for social housing and to ensure it is more, much more than simply a footnote on parties’ manifestoes. We are determined to send a signal that we are no longer prepared to be a poor relation in terms of government funding and political priorities and focus.”

The Conference of the Isles is being held on Friday, August, 29, in the Wheatley Academy and Conference Centre in Ingram Street, Glasgow.

To find out more and to book a place, please call 07590 471 974 or visit:


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