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2017 The Year of the Rooster

Sinéad Butters writes in her latest blog.....

"I've said before, I'm no astrologer, and those who know me well sniggered...  

So I thought I would start with Chinese Astrology.  Last year was the Year of the Monkey, devious, naughty, mischevious, and ambitious are the traits of this sign.  You can see it in the year that was, an irascible year, one which didn't fail to surprise or disappoint, but kept us on our toes.

2017 is the year of the Rooster, a year in which we find ourselves  hardworking, resourceful, courageous, talented and making ourselves heard... Not bad traits for a housing sector where opportunity is strong, but where, in the wider world, disorder, disruption and chaos simmer away, malevolently in the ether.

The Housing world seems to have changed forever, and maybe we are now getting used to that.  I think it's a good discipline for organisations to shake themselves up, dust ourselves off and rethink the future.  We have been given the opportunity to do that, and do that we have.

Chaos is a ladder says Petyr Baelish from Game of Thrones.  In disruption we find solutions, opportunities and inspiration.. it's important we use this change to our advantage and to the advantage of those that rely on us.  

Like the Rooster, we need to use our voice. And find our dialects too.  In chaos and through disruptive change, there can come opportunities, but there are casualties too.  Our young people can't get on the housing ladder, and those who can't live at home have few options.  Our under 35s who struggle to find work or who can't work, in some areas will not be able to afford even a one bedroom home.  Our older people, in some communities, living in sheltered housing,  will be paying so much more per week just to remain in their home, homelessness is visibly increasing and the future of supported housing is in disarray.  

Our joined up voice sounding with our local authority partners and community activists must continue to make a noise about what works where, what our communities actually need. This is far more important than the implications of these changes on our businesses, as its the impact on people, on our families, neighbours, friends and tenants that matters most.

Yes, supply supply supply is key, but let's work on a proper understanding of how housing policy changes play out in our communities to pressure decision makers to do the difficult thing; to enact policies that actually work in all areas of the country and build in flexibility to ensure there are no unintended people consequences of one size fits all policies."

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