Housing Association Magazine Editor Joe Bradbury takes a sneak peak at the social housing Santa list. Excitable Edgar aside, what do we want for Christmas as a sector?
It’s understandable that many are struggling to feel jolly as another year is added to the number of years of failure in housing policy. The once common concept of home ownership is now an impossible dream for many, and untold numbers of people are being pushed into homelessness.
The catastrophic decline in social housing has left millions feeling insecure in unaffordable homes they’ll never own. Unless we take action, the future of man will be a generation of young families that are, at best, trapped renting privately for their whole lives, with billions in welfare costs being paid to private landlords. Bah humbug!
Teenage environmental activist Greta Thunberg recently carried with her over a 15-day, 3,000-mile voyage across the Atlantic a powerful message; "our war on nature must end.” The 16-year-old sailed from Plymouth to New York on a zero-emissions yacht in order to minimise the carbon footprint of her travel and will be participating in UN climate summits in New York City and Chile.
If anything is to be learned from this, it is that the time for action is now.
Earth Overshoot Day, the day that humanity uses up its allowance of natural resources such as water, soil and clean air for the entire year, fell on the 29th July this year. This means that humanity is currently using nature 1.75 times faster than the Earth’s ecosystems can regenerate.
HAs dealing with tenants with problems sometimes face anger. One way of mitigating that is to make sure that HAs are able to solve tenant problems quickly. Joe Bradbury looks at how HAs can mitigate tenant anger with failing heating systems.
Many consider the NHS to be one of our country’s most invaluable resources, yet it has found itself under immense strain for a long time, a pressure that is only set to increase.
The winter is a tough time for anybody who has difficulty heating their home, but there are practical steps that can be taken - aside from a complete overhaul of the heating system - which can minimise cold and maximise savings for tenants and landlords alike. Joe Bradbury of Housing Association Magazine investigates:
We live in difficult times. The rapid increase in energy prices forces good people into bad debt for necessities such as warmth and water. It seems that despite living in the age of great excess, many find themselves existing day-to-day – surviving Britain.
Heating or eating?
Recent studies indicate that food bank use has increased exponentially over the last 12 months, painfully revealing how miserably welfare benefits fail to cover basic living costs. Figures from the UK’s national food bank, the Trussel Trust show that in the year running up to March 2018, 1,332,952 three-day emergency food supplies were delivered to people in crisis across Britain. People can’t afford to eat, let alone make payment next time an over inflated heating bill lands on their mat.