So it's August already! I suppose when you are busy, that is what happens, time rolls by. Whatever happened to June?
Of course this is the month when traditionally the place is emptied of people as they venture out on a well deserved break.
Children are out of school and for those at home more pressure on the family budget. There are some who will not notice that it is August. I have in mind those who do not have a bed of their own to sleep in, rolled up cardboard will suffice for now.
Those who are able to seek and obtain a temporary home have some relief but are always anxious about what happens next.
In the meantime, whatever time we might have put aside to study the long awaited but promised Green Paper on Housing Policy and Strategy, we can seek more pleasurable pursuits.
Being generous for a moment, I suppose I understand.
What with Brexit, HS2, the Northern Rail fiasco (this from Manchester) and Cabinet resignations, there are other considerations. Oh!, I forgot we have a new Housing Minister (nothing new there I sense you saying). Is that the reason for the non- publication, so that Mr. Malthouse can put his own stamp on it?
Somehow, I doubt it. Kit, as he wishes to be known, is Member for North West Hampshire succeeding Sir George Young. Now that is some inheritance. Sir George held the constituency for over 20 years and held many Offices of State.
He was, and remains, a great supporter of housing associations, and vigorous opponent to tower blocks. He spent much time on Merseyside, when the Liverpool Housing Action Trust was in being.
In that period Sir George showed not only empathy for housing associations, but those who resided in them.
As a Conservative he was able to tread a narrow path between the Conservative ideology of home ownership, and the nation’s need for publicly subsidised rented accommodation. Once quoted as saying, "let housing benefit take the strain", but also accepting that at the time capital subsidy was also required.
Since the massive slum clearance of the 50's and 60's, the improvement of older properties and LSVT, just a few housing initiatives have seen the light of day. One of the last was the creation, by Prime Ministerial demand, of a study in what was fashionably termed sink estates (a phrase borrowed from across the pond).
The Brexit vote saw David Cameron go, as quickly did Lord Heseltine, who had been appointed by Cameron to Chair the study group, a task he did with relish. But the prospect of Boris as PM, and the internal wrangling left Lord Heseltine growing trees and warning of the dangers of Brexit.
So, successor Kit has some stuff to do. Born and educated in Liverpool, followed by the University of Newcastle, he is no stranger to the north. As a Chartered Accountant, he must know about the issues of housing finance.
Whether he can do anything about the policies of the housing portfolio he now has remains to be seen, as he is certainly secure in his parliamentary seat (majority of 23,943 at the election of May in 2015).
He needs more than good luck. Longevity in post would help, but that brings us back to Brexit. Will the Conservatives survive, or will we be looking to John Healy M.P. as the Labour Shadow to assume the post?
In the meantime, there continues to be a job to be done. Arc4's workload and new business shows that. There is variety too. All the evidence points to the important inter-relationship between health, social care and housing; three fields we know well.
Enjoy the break, if you are having one. Gird your whatsits for the time ahead, make the voice of housing associations heard.
We can have a new start with new thinking. We are to have a new Chief Executive at the NHF, succeeding the tireless and thoughtful David Orr, a newly created English Homes and lots of other things, private financial investment included with some pretty big sums from overseas amongst them.
Do your bit, we will be continuing ours.
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