Housing experts from throughout the East Midlands gathered for the first time as a region at a major summit to discuss solutions to the housing crisis.
Futures Housing Group’s ‘Solving the Housing Puzzle’ event brought together more than 60 housing professionals from social housing, local government, development, construction, legal and finance.
Chaired by Sir Michael Lyons, chairman of the Lyons Housing Commission which advises the government on housing, the event saw experts discuss a series of issues from land reform and investment to creating a rent-first culture.
The event was held at the National Space Centre in Leicester and included a stellar line-up of speakers including Sir Michael, Observer journalist Sonia Sodha, finance expert and media commentator Justin Urquhart-Stewart, East Midlands Chamber’s Director of Policy and External Affairs Chris Hobson and Futures Housing Group’s Chief Executive Lindsey Williams.
Lindsey said: “We weren’t able to solve the housing puzzle in a morning, but it was a great opportunity for leaders and influencers to discuss issues.
“Our speakers offered different insights into the housing crisis and sparked debate which I hope will support the work of local government, housing associations and house builders to work together to provide the homes people need.
“Housing can be complex, but if we think of it as a people issue we can make it simpler."
Sir Michael said: “What we concluded at the end of a very lively session is that organisations in the region should not wait for the government to change. They should do what they can locally to make the difference.”
Delegate Vladimir Epuri from the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “It’s great to see a mix of people from different fields exchanging knowledge of the nuances in the housing market place.
“As a Local Enterprise Partnership we work with partners to address housing growth and other issues across our area of Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire. We can’t solve the housing problem on our own, no one can so it would be good to have more events like this.”
Futures has ambitions to build 1,000 new homes by 2020 to help ease the crisis, but acknowledged it will take cooperation from across housing and beyond to further support the housing market.
You can see images from the event on our Flickr page.
You can also watch our short film about the event .