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Lecture Series

Another great lecture for our Sixth Former students.

Lecture by Jonathan Clark on social housing.

Last Wednesday, we held our second lecture of the lecture series in the school's Sixth Form study room. The speaker, Jonathan Clark, a senior consultant from Savills shared valuable insights into the world of social housing, covering its definition, demographics, conditions, history, and career opportunities in the sector.

Jonathan Clark introduced social housing as homes owned by local authorities or housing associations (HAs). These associations are independent charities regulated to ensure the provision of affordable housing. In the UK, approximately 17% of all households reside in social housing, highlighting its significance in the national housing landscape.

Discussing the demographic, Clark noted that many social housing occupants are retired, mostly from the working class. Contrary to common misconceptions, most residents have some source of income, which is essential for managing expenses, including mortgages. It was also interesting to learn that many social housing residents are families with children.

The quality of these homes is generally decent, governed by standards set by housing associations. However, Clark also expressed concern about the rise in fuel poverty - where households spend over 10% of their income on heating - leading to issues like dampness and mould in these homes. A problem which has become prevalent due to the rising cost of living and fuel prices. These problems are more acute in these communities, where occupants often have lower incomes.

Clark also provided a historical background, mentioning that most council housing in the UK was built post-WWII. He highlighted that poor housing was considered one of the five giant evils in 1942. There's been a notable decrease in social housing construction since the late 60s and 70s, with only around 50,000 homes currently being built annually by social housing sectors. This contrasts with the estimated need for 300,000 to 350,000 new homes per year in the UK as suggested by the National Housing Federation (NHF).

The lecture concluded with a discussion on career opportunities in the housing sector. Clark described roles in housing management involving direct interactions with tenants and policy-making roles.

Jonathan Clark’s lecture offered many of us our first in-depth look at this crucial aspect of urban living. Highlighting the challenges that this sector faces and also introducing the diverse opportunities it presents for possible careers.

We look forward to future lectures organised by Dr Koestle-Cate and the Sixth Formers.

Article written by Fiona, Year 12 student.