From: Shane Sullivan, Housing technology consultant, Optimised Control
Sir – Having faced destitution once in my own life, I know that social housing is a very emotive topic. It’s about real people and making a difference to their security, prospects and quality of life. Now more than ever, we need to raise standards, increase inclusion and improve prospects for tenants and the homeless.
For things to change, we need to change. A lot of excellent progress is being achieved but how do we compare with our European neighbours, and what is life like for tenants in other countries? The UK has one of the most diverse populations in the world, but how much do we know about best practice, innovation and service quality elsewhere? There are so many ideas and opportunities to be exploited by observing how this vital public service is delivered all over the world.
Housing Technology’s executive forum on ‘The New Way of Working’ last month at the BT Tower in London was a bold step in exactly that direction. For those who were there – wasn’t it amazing? For those who were not– where are you looking for your inspiration?
My suggestion is that we look outward, to Europe and beyond, to find those lessons to be learned and examples of innovation – the presentation from Ymere Housing (Netherlands) at the above event was a great example of innovative and inspirational thinking behind the delivery of social housing, but who else should we be listening to and learning from?
My congratulations to Housing Technology and BT for hosting a truly remarkable event. Let’s see more and learn more for our partners across the oceans in future.