Homes for Heroes 100: The Past, Present and Future of Council Housing

Greg Beales, Brett Christophers, Vanessa Kisuule, Anne Power, Anna Rutherford and Paul Smith

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The housing crisis is never out of the news, though action is always slow. In the year of the centenary of the council estate – which Bristol is marking extensively – what are the key issues facing housing and a new programme of council house building? Where are the new ideas? Is the land available? And can councils deliver what is needed?

These three keynotes address these issues. Anne Power (Professor of Social Policy at the London School of Economics and Head of LSE Housing and Communities) looks back at the lessons learned in her work in housing policy and what we need to do now; Greg Beales (Campaign Director, Shelter) looks at the new ideas from the recent Shelter Commission and what’s needed to get them implemented; and Brett Christophers (University of Uppsala and author of The New Enclosure: the Appropriation of Public Land in Neoliberal Britain) looks at the issues of land ownership and the diminishing amount of land available for public use in the UK.

There will also be the premiere of the new film made by the Architecture Centre as part of Homes for Heroes 100 and a reading by Vanessa Kisuule (Bristol City Poet) of her poem for the centenary of the Addison Oak in Sea Mills.

The event will be introduced by Councillor Paul Smith (Cabinet Member with responsibility for Housing, Bristol City Council) and chaired by Alex Marsh (University of Bristol).

This event is part of Homes for Heroes 100, a year-long programme run by Bristol City Council, Festival of Ideas and Bristol Cultural Development Partnership in association with Local Learning, Knowle West Media Centre, Sea Mills 100 and the Architecture Centre. It marks the centenary of the Addison Act, which introduced the modern council estate, and looks at the past, present and future of council housing. Activity is taking place across Bristol, especially in Hillfields, Sea Mills and Knowle West, and includes community projects, history projects, walking tours, exhibitions, new books and art works. It is funded by Arts Council England, Bristol City Council, Historic England (through their Heritage Schools Initiative) and the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Image credit: Miles Tewson

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