Alternative housing and community development models (Sept 2013)

Seminar Series – Beyond 2012: the Olympics and the Regeneration of East London

Alternative housing and community development models

5th Seminar:  26th September 2013, 5.30pm – 7.30pm

Typical patterns of housing tenure in east London have sat across a mix of social housing, owner occupation and small-scale private rental. There is a fairly well-established view that this mix, whatever its merits, is associated with some significant problems of affordability, quality, over-crowding, social and environmental impact, for example. At the very worst, under-managed social housing has been all-but-privatised through key sales, while private housing has through a combination of buy-to-let and absentee landlords sucked poverty into areas resulting in over-crowding and degradation of the living environment. Obviously this is not true everywhere, but it is clear that in areas of pressure such as east London, new responses are required.

From the 1990s, registered social landlords and private developers, for example, have found ways to innovate. This seminar explores two specific case studies. The community-based Poplar HARCA has generated large scale new development in a context of a wider set of support mechanisms for its tenants. East Village, formerly the Olympic Village, will be split approximately 50:50 in terms of social and private housing, but all of it for rent. This scale of private rental is unusual if not unique in east London.

The intensity of housing need in east London is considerable. Benefit changes could have consequences which impact negatively on that position. Our speakers, as innovators, will review the housing challenge and present their observations of how their approaches operate or will operate within it.

We aim to generate discussion about innovation in methodologies for creating and managing housing stock to achieve better places and better quality of life. The question of ‘who benefits?, directly and indirectly, is also key. We are also interested in what any combination of Government, GLA, LLDC, boroughs, RSLs, developers of any kind might do to act positively on the housing challenge.

Guest Speakers

Steve Stride, Chief Executive, Poplar HARCA

Steve Stride is Chief Executive of East London housing association Poplar HARCA which he joined in 1998.  He has worked in the housing sector all of his professional career.  Since 1998, he has led a £1 billion housing and social regeneration programme to reshape the Poplar area and deliver excellent housing and community services. His award-winning organisation manages over 8,500 homes following successful stock transfers from the London Borough of Tower Hamlets.  Steve is committed to ensuring residents play a central role in the regeneration of their homes and the delivery of their services. This is demonstrated by Poplar HARCA’s award winning resident led governance structure and resident led majority board.  Steve has lived in Tower Hamlets for most of his life. He is passionate about the regeneration opportunities for east London as well as Tottenham Hotspur Football Club.

Dale Meredith, Group Development Director, Southern Housing

Dale Meredith is the Group Development Director for Southern Housing Group, a post he has held since 1987. During that time the Group has grown from under 5,000 to over 25,000 homes, with much of that growth the result of new home building, making Southern one of the largest and most influential affordable housing providers in London and the South East – it currently owns and manages 25,000 homes for more than 66,000 residents.  Dale is an executive director of Triathlon Homes, a joint venture established by First Base, East Thames Group and Southern Housing Group.  Triathlon in partnership with Qatari Diar Delancey will manage East Village, the Legacy use of the Olympic & Paralympic Athlete’s Village.  He currently sits on the London Mayor’s development advisory panel, and also chairs the G15 Development Directors Group, which is responsible for most of the new affordable housing in London.  He previously worked in development for another housing association and in housing management for a local authority in London. He has an honours degree in sociology.


Jo Negrini, Director of Strategic Regeneration, Planning & Olympic Legacy, London Borough of Newham

Jo Negrini is Director of Strategic Regeneration, Planning & Olympic Legacy, LB Newham, where she has been since 2010.  Jo has worked as a regeneration practitioner in London for 20 years. She is a qualified town planner and has had roles ranging from working in NGOs with communities on environmental and employment issues through to her current role.  Jo has been involved in all aspects of regeneration delivery from working with communities around improvements to their local areas through to negotiating and leading on multi million pound regeneration schemes. Her current role involves leading on the delivery of £1billion development program and leveraging investment to ensure development has real impact on the lives of people in Newham and East London.


London Legacy Development Corporation, Level 10, 1 Stratford Place, Montfichet Road, London E20 1EJ


Participation is free, but registration is essential as places are limited. To book a place, please email Sue Isaac (

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