The housing sector is in a period of unprecedented change. An unstable political climate, the march of welfare reform and Brexit all pose huge challenges. Meanwhile, technology continues to develop apace and the sector is becoming ever more innovative to rise to the challenges of the future. This year’s Northern Housing Summit takes out-of-sector thinking and asks: how can we apply this to the housing sector, and what can the North learn?
Through a combination of thought-provoking sessions and practical workshops, our thought-leaders, housing and political experts will examine the following at this year’s Summit:
- Big data, predictive analytics and AI and their uses in service provision, supporting vulnerable people and future-proofing our businesses.
- The need for regeneration in the North.
- Finding ways to meet new funding challenges for health.
- How do we regulate to innovate?
- The Rise of the Robots.
- Developing policy that works.
- Building innovative and inclusive cities.
Key speakers include:
- Tom Walker, Homes and Communities Agency
- Richard Wellings, IEA
- The Future Laboratory
- Brian Moran, Adactus Housing Group
- Andy Hollingsworth, Behavioural Insights Team
Join sector leaders at our flagship Summit to explore these issues and answer the question – what is the future of the housing sector in the North?
|9:30||Registration and refreshments|
Tom Miskell, Chair, Northern Housing Consortium
|10:35||Welcome to Manchester|
Sebastien Van Laere, Strategic Research Director, The Future Laboratory
We live in a dislocated world, characterised by distrust, discord, disconnection, disenfranchisement, disenchantment and disorder. Public trust in governments, the financial sector and brands is at an all-time low. Racial division, climate change, inequality and terrorism dominate the headlines. It is tempting to deal with each wave of disruption as it comes, but to successfully navigate the future we must look at the bigger picture. Are parts of the North facing a future of “being left behind”? Are housing providers and local authorities still viewed as strong community anchors or after the Grenfell tragedy is the sector viewed with suspicion – as uncaring, remote and divisive?
This session will explore the drivers that can lead to a dislocated North and will consider how NHC and its members can adapt to respond to these challenges and offer a compelling alternative vision.
|11:10||FinTech: The coolest kid on the block(chain)?
Stefan Haase, Director, Whitecap Consulting
FinTech has exploded in recent months and is seen by many to be driving innovation, using technology to revolutionise service delivery and disrupt an industry which has gone from the staid, traditional Old Lady of Threadneedle Street to the international banking crisis which precipitated a global financial recession in 2007. Fintech is now a thriving industry and approximately 2/3rds of customers are using some form of Fintech service. Fintech can open up banking systems – giving third parties access to data, it can embrace AI, it can meet the needs of millennials. The start ups driving Fintech are challenging the old guard to innovate or step aside. Does Fintech give us an insight into a future for the housing sector where we open up our systems, data and processes for co-created solutions? How is the regulatory environment in banking responding to the Fintech world and what does this mean for housing? How can the housing sector and Fintech join forces to ensure that the benefits of Fintech are made available to all our communities – tackling issues such as financial inclusion and under banking. Stefan Haase from WhiteCap Consulting will set out a short history of Fintech, its approach to innovation and disruption, and the lessons learned to date whilst Paul Taylor will consider what this may mean for the housing sector – are we ready to embrace Fintech or is it a case of “No Fintech please, we’re housing”?
Nat Defriend, The Young Foundation
Inequalities in the our society are highly entrenched and deeply damaging for individual lives and our collective capacity for social and economic growth.
The Young Foundation’s research in communities across the UK has shone a new light onto inequality, examining the way it operates in the lives and minds of people everywhere and every day, and how it influences the behaviour of leaders, decision-makers and service providers at all levels of society.
The concept of the inclusive economy offers a new perspective on this most intractable problem. In their presentation, Nat Defriend and Radhika Bynon will set out three challenges for Northern Leaders to deliver genuinely inclusive growth, and provide a practical example of how the Young Foundation is working to breathe new life into innovation in the private rented sector.
|12:45||Investing for innovation
Tom Walker, Deputy Chief Executive, Homes and Communities Agency
Tom will build upon the themes of innovation, trust and inclusivity within the framework of the Homes and Communities Agency.
Is innovation recognised as an intrinsic value for the HCA? Does Government see the housing sector as trusted partners in delivery or sluggish and backward looking? Have we got a regulatory framework that allows innovation to flourish or does it stifle opportunity and how could the forthcoming Green Paper best serve the North?
|13:15||Lunch and exhibition viewing|
|14:15||Professional practice sessions
The Rise of the Robots
Grant Shipway, Digital Transformation Consultant, PwC
Do we trust the machines, and what is their use in housing? Machine learning, a form of Artificial Intelligence, and data science, are increasingly used to make decisions that affect our daily lives. From fake news to driverless cars, recruitment to mortgages, PwC will discuss what we can learn about the benefits and dangers of machine learning.
Brian will focus on demonstrating how Adactus Housing Group has applied their five different types of data science techniques in the housing sector:
• Descriptive: Rule association and Clustering
Designing policy that works
Andy Hollingsworth, Senior Advisor, Behavioural Insights Team North
What are ‘behavioural insights’? How can they improve services?
Seemingly inconsequential changes to the way services are designed and delivered can lead to big impacts on behaviour, often at low cost. In this session, Andy will introduce ‘behavioural insights’ and talk through examples of where behavioural insights approaches to service design led to improved outcomes…and where they didn’t.
New models of delivery
Maggie Gjessing, Head of Housing Growth, Asset Management and Regeneration, Leeds City Council
Steve Matthews, Public Sector Partnerships Director, heylo housing
Leeds is one of the North’s growth hot spots and demand for housing to support economic ambitions continues to rise. Maggie will set out how Leeds City Council intend to respond to this challenge – both in terms of its strategic enabling role and through its approach to direct delivery. With the Green Paper looming and the Prime Minister’s commitment to take personal charge of the housing challenge facing the country, Maggie will also suggest how best the Government could assist localities like Leeds who have the drive and ambition to deliver more.
|15:05||Professional practice sessions
Reshaping our quest for good housing and good health
Drew Van Doorn, Chief Executive, HACT
The North continues to face significant and long standing health challenges.These can not only have devastating personal impacts, but also affect productivity and can limit our potential.
James will share with delegates a new approach to tackling the health challenges in the North East through an innovative project bringing together multi-disciplinary partners to work in an incubator style approach to use new ideas, new technologies and new partnerships to create effective, flexible solutions. James will set out the vision for HealthQuest and the role that the housing and local government sectors can play in its success.
Andrew will examine what the current opportunities are for integrating health and housing, the pressures in the NHS going forward and how we can get the engagement right.
Innovation and inclusivity in Combined Authorities
Paul Beardmore, Director of Housing, Manchester City Council
The themes of innovation and inclusivity have run through the Northern Summit – but how easy is that to achieve within a national policy framework? Or does devolution hold the key? Greater Manchester Combined Authority set out with their vision to secure economic growth and deliver public sector reform and have made significant strides in setting the devolution agenda at the heart of the Northern Powerhouse. Greater Manchester have long had a strong and influential set of leaders across economy, transport, health and housing & now have an elected Metro Mayor in Andy Burnham who has signalled his intention to lead on issues such as housing & homelessness.
Paul will provide delegates with an update on progress of devolution in Greater Manchester and in particular will consider how the devolved administration can support inclusivity through:
– securing economic growth and increasing GVA across Greater Manchester
Young People and housing
Elizabeth Harding, Chief Executive, Youth Focus North West
Elizabeth will discuss the increasing importance of housing as an issue for younger people. She will examine how to “mainstream” young people in shaping communities – not only through separate provision of youth boards, but also by converting young people to main governance involvement and activity structures so that the valuable insight and experiences of diverse young people are captured and capitalised on.
Community action and activism is increasingly seen in society – as a counterpoint/repsonse to the sense of distrust in civic institutions – and Elizabeth will share her thoughts on how young people see and shape communities and localities.
|16:10||Can the North build a successful future – and what role for housing?
Richard Wellings, Deputy Research Director and Head of Transport, Institute of Economic Affairs
In this final session Richard and Jonn will set out their responses to the questions underpinning the day so far – does the North have the capacity to build a successful future? Is inclusive growth a reality or mirage – does growth inevitably mean decline? Is a successful North a price worth paying for national government or is a dislocated North – a North of “left behinds” – too high a political risk? And what does all of this mean for housing?
Jonn and Richard will share their views on Northern Powerhouse, transport and infrastructure, the Industrial Strategy and the contribution (or otherwise) of the housing sector.
A lively final panel session to close the conference.
Tom Miskell, Chair, Northern Housing Consortium
Tom will bring the Summit to a close, drawing upon the discussions and debates throughout the day, and will set out how the NHC will build upon these topics over the coming months.