Reflections on the housing sector over 13 years as Chief Executive

I have had the huge privilege of being Chief Executive of the National Housing Federation for just over 13 years. As my tenure comes to a close, I’ve been thinking a lot about those 13 years. What’s happened, how have things changed, what has worked, what has been problematic? I’ll be publishing a blog each day this week reflecting on these ideas, looking in particular at the four themes that have really shaped my time in the job.

David Orr

By David Orr, Chief Executive of the National Housing Federation

24 September 2018

The changing face of housing associations

The Federation would have no reason to exist without its members. My job is all about telling the story of our sector. Over my past thirteen years, I’ve seen huge changes in housing associations and the context they work in, from mergers to mixed tenure. We’ve adapted to challenges and grasped opportunities in a way we may never have thought possible. So I’ll be taking some time to reflect on the changing housing association world. 

Reflections: the changing face of housing associations

Why we’ve never lost our social purpose – and never will

Housing associations exist for the benefit of the community. They are mission-driven organisations with social purpose at their heart. Recently, though, this purpose has been questioned and challenged. So my next blog will be about our social purpose: what it is, how we deliver it, and why we’ve never, ever lost sight of it.

Reflections: why housing associations have never lost our social purpose – and never will

The politics (and politicians) of housing

Housing associations are independent organisations, but this does not mean they exist in isolation. The relationship with government both centrally and locally is critical, and has been one of the driving factors of my work at the Federation. I can’t do this series of blogs without considering politics and politicians over the past 13 years. So that’s Thursday’s blog – the one I had most fun writing!

Reflections: the politics (and politicians) of housing

To the future

Finally, I want to look to the future – a future of great challenge but even greater possibility. Many of you will have heard me talk about the challenge of, and necessity for, optimistic leadership. That will be the subject on my last ever blog as Chief Executive of the National Housing Federation.

I’ve loved doing the job and have enjoyed writing blogs over the years. Some people have even told me you have enjoyed reading them. Thank you for that – and I hope you enjoy this last set.

Reflections: and so to the future

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