David Montague

Let's make it a good one

This morning I arrived at my office to find a recorded delivery envelope from New York in my in tray. The last time I received a mystery parcel it was a dead mouse so I’m always a little wary about opening the mail.
Published on 01/01/2017
Well that was quite a year.  The year that the tectonic plates of housing shifted.

Government promised a bold new plan, housing associations set out a new ambition and in London the Mayor made a commitment the likes of which we haven't seen in decades.

So 2017 must be the year of delivery, the year when bold plans, ambitions and commitments are followed by bold action.  The spotlights are on us.  The show must begin.

It will be a year of disruption.  With consolidation sweeping through the sector, Airbnb becoming the largest landlord in London and a Chinese investor promising a revolution in off site construction our traditional model has been challenged.  It won't be long before these things combine and set an exciting new course for affordable housing.

It must be a year of service and accountability.  Our residents and political stakeholders must have confidence that our renewed ambition won't distract us from the day job.   That our service will improve, that we will offer even better value for money, and that when we get it wrong we will put it right and learn.

And finally, it must be a year of looking back as well as forward. Housing associations are rooted in social purpose.  As we grow and change we cannot lose sight of what is unique about us.

We collect the rent, we fix the tap, we lay the bricks and together we change the world.  If we lose our social purpose we lose everything.

So each of us has a responsibility to carry the torch and hand it over to the next generation.

2016 was quite a year.  But it was nothing compared to what 2017 has to offer.

Happy new year.  Let's make it a good one.

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