The Future of Social Housing after Grenfell
Our guest speaker Professor Anne Power has a long history in social housing and urban problem and her background experience and current research interests position her uniquely to engage in the lessons from Grenfell. In 1966, she worked with Martin Luther King's 'End Slums' campaign in Chicago, and, on her return to Britain, organised community-based projects in Islington, Hackney and Tower Hamlets. From 1979 to 1989, she worked for the Department of the Environment and Welsh Office, setting up Priority Estates Projects to rescue run-down estates all over the country. In 1991, she became founding director of the National Communities Resource Centre at Trafford Hall in Chester which provides residential training and pump priming support for people living and working in low-income communities. Anne became a Professor of Social Policy at the London School of Economics in 1996 and is currently Head of LSE Housing and Communities, a research group based within the Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion.
Anne puts her involvement in Grenfell down to two things; a long history with the Lancaster West estate going back to the 1980s when she was the Government’s ‘go to’ person for work on difficult estates where there was major disorder and disruption. Plus, at the very time of the Grenfell fire, she was working at Trafford Hall at a think tank for social landlords with about 50 of the country’s leading thinkers and activists on estate regeneration.
Anne’s lecture focused upon the question of how it came about that the Grenfell fire had such a deep and lasting impact on the country’s social landlords and tenants, what the follow through has been and whether this has been an adequate response and whether in the long term the effects of this will be positive or negative. Although most Grenfell stories end unhappily, Anne’s lecture offers the hope that in the longer term there is potential for much good to follow.
You can catch up with or revisit Anne’s lecture ‘The Future of Social Housing after Grenfell’ here.