Crisis Conference 2017

Ending Homelessness: what needs to change?

  1. Crisis turns 50 this year, and are holding a series of conferences in England, Wales and Scotland to look at how they can work to ensure they are not needed for another 50. I was glad for the chance to go.
  2. Going, however, was a bit more fraught than expected. I had hoped to head down to London the night before, spend some time with the amazing Debbie Humphrey there (talk about housing, and photography and collaboration because we haven't done enough of that yet). But life had other plans (allowing you a glimpse of our NY adventure):
  3. Screen Shot 2017-04-21 at 12.58.20
    Screen Shot 2017-04-21 at 12.58.20
  4. So on my third jet-lagged day of work after getting home from NY, it was a rather horrible early start. Still, I worked on the train.
  5. I had great hopes on the train...
  6. Saw great things on the train...
  7. Examples of our government's earlier commitments to house all of its residents through a period where it did seem homelessness as a chronic condition would be ended. I love the utopianism of many of these brutalist architects -- I've loved this particular estate ever since watching Utopia London, and never knew it was this stretch of buildings the train normally flashes past coming into Euston.
  8. Got there in plenty of time for coffee and a bit of pastry-rich breakfast.
  9. My admiration for Terrie Alafat only grew over the course of the day and the difficulties she faced and overcame in chairing the conference in a very tight schedule with a number of the speakers arriving late. This General Election perhaps.
  10. A reminder from Jon Sparkes:
  11. Messages from Teresa May (I was a little unnerved by her giant face talking at me that early in the morning I confess, who but the Tories and their right to buy and their austerity and slashing of every budget to blame for the huge increases in homelessness since 2010?), Carwyn Jones and Nicola Sturgeon. I worried as soon as I hit send on this tweet that those numbers from May weren't quite right (sometimes I feel the true existential terror of tweeting), I think it was £61 mill, and a total housing budget of £551 million or something like that, but the difference in scale and emphasis is the point.
  12. This was cool though:
  13. Suzanne Fitzpatrick -- legend. She had some amazing slides from the data collected through the Homeless Monitor project -- I was initially too embarrassed to be taking pictures, but I got over that. Just not in time for much of the awesomeness. Luckily I found it online:
  14. Of course, being a long-time tenant organiser in the US private rented sector where public housing is really not an option, I have strong feelings about how the structure of housing markets to maximize landlord profit causes on the whole as minimal investment in buildings as possible, and the immediate attempt to evict tenants or refusal to renew leases in tight property markets as rents rise. It's nice to see graphs showing that clearly and in a UK context, because I know how annoying it must be when I all too often start a sentence 'well, in America...'
  15. I did start taking pictures here, loved these vignettes:
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