A Defining Year Ahead
January has arrived. Most of us are now back at work, wondering where the festive period went, probably feeling a little tight in our clothes, and starting to eye up the challenges and goals for the year ahead. The social housing sector is preparing itself for a year of great change, on the back of the great change seen in the year just gone.
There are a number of especially big issues on the table this year that will really define the approach that the sector takes over the next five to ten years. The Office of National Statistics decision to define housing associations as public sector entities, the success of the pilot for Right to Buy, the London Mayoral election and the prospect of landscape-changing merger activity are all vying for the title of most important issue.
Ultimately, the issues are all linked and it is most likely that one outcome will affect another. For example, if the government pushes Housing Associations away, giving them more freedom to set rents how they deem appropriate, there could be a big effect on Right to Buy. The decision of a Tory or a Labour Mayor could have a huge effect on the amount of housebuilding in the capital and the knock on effect on house prices in the capital.
Without a doubt the year will be interesting, controversial, and I hope ground breaking. Often the greatest challenges produce the most innovative and effective solutions. The thought that someone is currently working on or even unaware of a game changing idea is exciting and could lead to us all looking at the sector differently in twelve months time. Whatever happens, it might be best to tighten your seatbelts. It won’t be dull.
Is there an issue that you think will be most crucial this year? Are there any proposed solutions that are giving you particular cause for optimism? Share your thoughts with us here.
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