About Red Brick

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Red Brick is a

“superb blog analysing social housing policy”.

The Guardian

Welcome to Red Brick, a blog founded in 2010 by Tony Clements and Steve Hilditch and now edited by Steve and our pseudonymous friend ‘Monimbo’.

It is a progressive political blog with a particular focus on housing policy. As a forum it is open to anyone interested in progressive debate about homes, housing and communities, and wider politics. We are linked to the Labour Housing Group but the views expressed here are those of individual authors and/or the editors and are not necessarily the view of LHG or London LHG.

Join the Labour Housing Group here: http://www.labourhousing.co.uk/join-lhg

Steve Hilditch worked as a housing consultant for 20 years, having previously been assistant director of housing for a London borough and head of policy for Shelter. 

He has advised a number of Select Committees, including a major inquiry into homelessness and inquiries into the implications of the credit crunch for housing.  He worked on the review of the council housing finance system and drafted the London Mayor’s Housing Strategy (Mayor Livingstone, that is).  He chaired the government project group that established the National Tenant Voice, regrettably closed down by the new government shortly after its birth.

Steve has been a Labour Party member since 1972 and chaired Paddington constituency party and the Labour Housing Group in the 1980s.  He was a leading Westminster ‘objector’, helping expose the Homes for Votes scandal under Lady Porter. 

Brought up on a council estate in Newcastle, Steve studied economics and geography at University College London and housing and planning at LSE and has been visiting professor to the University of Westminster.  His hairshirt is that he is a lifelong supporter of Newcastle United.     

Tony Clements worked as a policy adviser for John Healey when he was a DCLG Minister, working more recently for housing associations and local authorities.

Monimbo is a senior housing policy specialist writing under a pseudonym.  

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8 Responses to About Red Brick

  1. Thanks Monimbo- found the article very interesting for the ElphickeHouse Review #LAHR14 – happy to talk in person if you want to get in touch, Natalie

  2. sue waller says:

    Monimbo? Hope this doesn’t reference the extreme right wing cold war spy thriller Monimbo by Arnaud De Borchgrave-Robert Moss from1983, which according to the New York Magazine is an “excuse for big-bottomed arm-chair warriors to have a nice wallow in blood and contempt.”

    • monimbo99 says:

      No: a different Monimbo.

      • sue waller says:

        That’s good. As a former private tenants’ rights campaigner, now a housing needs professional and LHG member – really like the blog. Would be interested in insights about the use of PRS to discharge homeless duty. I think there needs to be some investigation into procurement groups such as Finefare Lettings who I believe have been involved in a prosecution for illegal eviction  Islam v Yap [2009] EWHC 3606 (QB), 20 November 2009 but local authorities including Labour councils are still using them.

  3. Pingback: Single Aspect's Blog » Blog Archive » Right to buy III

  4. Paul Eastwood says:

    I am deeply concerned that the move to 80% market rents, and the ending of Council tenancies for life will undo all the good work that has been done in creating mixed communities. Given the underlying uncertainty that fixed term tenancies creates new Council tenants will probably be reluctant to “put down roots”, which is something all good landlords would wish them to do. A sense of place and continuity are what marks out all good places to live. Council estates seem set to become transitory neighborhoods, and housing of last resort rather than housing of choice. The full social impact of this will only unravel over time, but we do need collectively to be highlighting this issue and getting this message across as a key them for elections on 5 May.

  5. Kerry Pollard says:

    I worry about ‘affordability’ in the brave new Shapps world. It seems to me that on the route we are being forced down ( 80% of market rents) that there will inevitably be a sharp increase in people needing to claim housing benefit, exactly counter to what the Tory led Government espouses.

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