A Public Housing Manifesto
January 2024
By Mellis Haward

There was a lot of anticipation for "A Public Housing Manifesto" at the Barbican Centre on Friday 26th January, with The Architecture Foundation - and, with a 1000+ strong audience, it's clear there's a huge appetite for the debate.

The event asked for responses to the UK's housing crisis, and Archio Director Mellis was compelled to respond to the dual housing crisis of providing new social housing and of the dire state of existing social housing.

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The context for this is that on Monday last week The English Housing Ombudsman reported that 380,000 households out of the 4 million social housing homes in the UK are being classed as “non decent” by the government - that’s one in every 10 social housing homes.

It's also the case that England's housing stock loses heat more quickly than equivalent homes in Norway, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Austria, Denmark, Sweden and Germany.

Over the last two years, at Archio Ltd, we've been working with LAs and HAs on the technical delivery of social housing retrofit, in parallel with the community engagement process to 'drive uptake'.

In the process we've been exposed to the mechanisms of the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund, so Mellis described how the government needs to refocus their short-sighted, sporadic and piecemeal funding programmes to take a strategic view to "Invest in Neighbourhood Level Retrofit".


On the night Mellis was also pleased to speak on how Community Land Trusts can shift housing from being seen as a commodity when it should be infrastructure / human right.

Congratulations to Ellis Woodman for masterminding the event, and to the speakers Pooja AgrawalAdam KhanPaul KarakusevicOsama ShoushRussell CurtisAstrid SmithamAnnalie RichesJoseph Henry and Kate Macintosh