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Welcome to the learning4housing blog. I will be posting my thoughts and opinions on a range of issues facing the social housing sector. You are more than welcome to post your comments, whether you agree or disagree on the points. The aim here is to stimulate some debate on these issues, whether they are about current government policy or about best practice in housing management or strategy.

is an independent training provider for the social housing sector. We cover a wide range of subject areas, including anti-social behaviour, homelessness, resident involvement, void control, choice-based lettings, and complaints management, as well as personal skills development around communication, negotiation, assertiveness, influencing, managing people, etc. Please visit the main website for more information at

Please call David on 07986 246406 to discuss your training needs and how we can help, or email at

Wednesday, February 8

I'm a Housing Minister, get me out of here...

It has been very busy times here at the L4H office, hence the lack of posts to this blog in recent weeks. L4H will attempt to keep a bit more up to date on all things housing in future. The trouble is, so much seems to be happening on the housing front, perhaps partly due to the frenetic activity of our exciting housing minister, Grant Shapps. Certainly not afraid to put his mouth where his, er... mouth is, it would seem that Grant is clearly intent on making a name for himself, with frequent appearances on TV, radio, Twitter - in fact whenever he can get some friendly media exposure.

Anyway, although Mr Shapps may have succeeded in gaining more publicity for the housing issue in general, L4H believes in the old addage of quality over quantity. Some people have accused Grant of making housing policy 'on the hoof' and introducing populist measures without any having any clear direction.  But L4H believes that there is a clear direction that is being taken by Mr Shapps and the Coalition Government as a whole. In adopting a very negative stance towards social housing and social housing tenants, the government is in real danger of marginalising a major section of the population. L4H is waiting for election posters to appear depicting tenants with horns and pointy tails. Apart from cuts to welfare benefits, housing benefit, and reductions to security of tenure and increases in rents, it is also the constant drip, drip, drip of negative perceptions, gladly grasped and manipulated by the tabloid media, about benefit scroungers, layabouts and people generaly being undeserving of any compassion, let alone taxpayers' money!! Is this a good way to bring the country together? After all, we are always being told that 'we are all in this together' (pause for wry smiles)...should we not therefore be trying to unify the country in a positive way, and one which celebrates and builds on the successes of the past (and yes, social housing does have many such successes) but which avoids the mistakes that have been made by politicians of all parties. On the way, let's try not to vilify whole sections of the population - this path is much too well trodden and always leads to disaster in the end.

Meanwhile, L4H is just off to check on the latest line-up for I'm a Celebrity...

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