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Blake Lapthorn hosts another successful social housing conference in Southampton

Blake Lapthorn hosted its third Social Housing Conference entitled 'Keep calm and carry on?', which took place on Tuesday 8 November 2011 at its Southampton office.

The conference, which was chaired by Robert Wassall, former head of Blake Lapthorn's Social Housing group, provided an analysis and overview that focused on the challenges for social landlords caused by cuts in development funding and the introduction of affordable rents

The presentations at the seminar, which saw 50 delegates in attendance, were delivered by experts with an overall message that the sector is undergoing a major transformation and that registered providers need to adapt to these changes.

The presentations were opened by Mervyn Jones, Director at Savills who considered the pressures on the financial viability of housing associations, new ways of funding social housing and whether re-structuring is an option.

He was followed by Shelagh Grant, Chief Executive of The Housing Forum, who explored whether a tipping point had already been reached, that new homes are urgently needed and that current plans for providing new homes fell short of what was needed.

Brian Everett, Director at Bellway Housing Trust, offered attendees an insight into housing from the housebuilder's perspective, providing challenging observations concerning the future of the sector.

Paul Tennant, CEO of Orbit Group, gave an inspirational presentation saying that the social housing sector is an exciting place to work and that housing professionals needed to be "on the bus or not". Paul explored the transformation of the social housing sector as demonstrated at Orbit

The sessions were followed by questions and answers, with delegates asking a variety of questions to the panel, which included an exploration of what would come first; a housebuilder acquiring a housing association or a housing association acquiring a housebuilder.

Delegates included individuals from a wide variety of organisations including housing associations, local authorities, banks, housebuilders and other professionals

The event was a great success and emphasised Blake Lapthorn's status as a leading light in social housing.

For further information please contact John Russell in the Social Housing group on 023 8085 7490 or email john.russell@bllaw.co.uk.

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