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Welcome to the new Red Brick blog!

Red Brick was set up in 2010 as a place for progressive debate around housing issues. Ten years in, after 800 blog posts, it has a new web location, a revamped design, a new editor, and there are ambitious plans to increase the number of contributors.

The challenge is the same: we stand for decent affordable housing for all but there are many and various ways to get to that goal and many people have a contribution to make to the debate. We scrutinise every step of Tory policy and almost always find it wanting.

Covid has exposed how weak our housing system is. Despite the fact that it costs a fortune, much of it is spent in the wrong ways, subsidising demand and not supply, supporting one tenure at the expense of the others, failing to meet the most dire housing need. Solutions are possible – Labour’s Manifesto for the 2019 Election contained many of them – but we have to work them out in detail and make sure the public is aware of them.

One thing seems certain: housing will be an even bigger and more desperate issue after Covid. More people are fleeing domestic violence, more people are facing rent arrears and eviction, social housing is being deprioritised even further. There may be huge disruption in the housing market as the financial implications work through. It will be a time where clear analysis, workable policy proposals, and effective campaigns are needed more than ever. 

Red Brick blog is linked to the Labour Housing Group but is editorially independent. Ten years ago, we chose the strapline ‘The Place for Progressive Housing Debate’ because we welcome all contributions and, whatever our individual views, Red Brick has no factional inclinations.

Except we’re not very keen on Tories or Tory solutions!

We are happy to publish both sides of an argument and to enable all opinions to be voiced. However, we celebrate diversity, are steadfastly pro-equalities and against discrimination in any form. 

I hope you will continue to read and value the blog so it can continue to contribute in a small way to progressive housing debate. It would be even better if you contributed – just pitch your idea to us, we’ll be happy to help you to put it together for publication.

Thanks to Chris Worrall, Sheila Spencer and Ross Houston from the LHG Executive for the work they’ve put in to make this transition happen. LHG shows signs of a real resurgence as a membership and campaigning body within Labour, which can only be a good thing.

Thank you for reading Red Brick over the last decade and I hope you will continue to do so for years to come.

<strong><span class="has-inline-color has-accent-color">Steve Hilditch</span></strong>
Steve Hilditch

Editor and Founder of Red Brick. Former Head of Policy for Shelter. Select Committee Advisor for Housing and Homelessness. Drafted the first London Mayor’s Housing Strategy under Ken Livingstone.