Housing became a political issue during the 2015 election campaign but it needs to get even bigger with the general public.
The reason why people don’t talk about housing is because it sounds complicated and difficult to tackle.
But it isn’t necessarily. Housing can be as simple as:
– everyone needs a home
– we all need to be able to live somewhere we can afford
– we all should be able to have some form of asset (housing is one of them) or skills that enables us to participate in the economic activity
– some people cannot afford rents or house prices and they look for help. They register with local authorities and wait for a long term to have a subsidised house
– some people can only afford a portion of their house and they look for a product such as shared ownership
– some people can afford to buy and they do
– a supply of different products and types of housing is needed to cater for all the different needs.
So all these situations are about housing. Something that affects everyone.
However not many people talk about it in these terms.
The housing sector which is all the social landlords, including councils as landlords and all the people that are employed by them, together with housing charities, think tanks, pressure groups, social activists are passionate about housing.
They are passionate because they believe in the purpose of their work. Which is to manage homes and communities and give their tenants, who need some help, support for a better life.
The housing sector needs to talk passionately about housing outside the sector.
“We want people to be enraged by the education issue”, said during the CIH Housing conference 2015, Jo Denye from Teach First.
Teach First have managed to become the leading graduate recruiter in the UK in the last 12 years. They attract and retain talented, high flying graduates who want to give something back to the community.
Housing needs to be able to talk to students about housing with passion and have a leadership programme in place for the talented students who want to make a contribution.
The social and economic case is there. We just need to shout about it and have a strong offer and clear language in place for everyone.