Last week we brought together housing professionals from across the south for the third annual Help to Buy South partner conference in Swindon, organised by our Help to Buy South team. The event was attended by colleagues from 100 different organisations, including local authorities, housing associations, developers, financial advisors and solicitors, to discuss how we can best deliver Help to Buy packages and get first time buyers onto the ladder.
Since 2014 Radian Group has managed the Help to Buy South contract, which encompasses 38 local authorities across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, Wiltshire, Berkshire, Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire, Bristol and North Somerset. As well as providing a portal website for housing associations to advertise shared ownership and rent to buy properties, we also administer Help to Buy’s flagship equity loan, helping many people to make their home ownership dreams a reality.
This year’s conference covered topics like GDPR, partnership building and the web portal, as well as hosting an open forum question and answer session with a panel of Help to Buy specialists, and an afternoon campfire session that allowed attendees to share their experiences and ideas. Delegates see the conference as a great opportunity to get up-to-date information on the sector, as well as benefit from the excellent networking opportunities. The day was captured in a unique format by Graphic Recording Artists, Caroline Chapple and Claire Holgate, who took notes in the sessions and then recorded the day in a huge mural.
Planning for the conference starts nine months in advance and one of the biggest challenges is finding the amazing speakers who really help to make the day as productive as possible – not just for us, but for the wider industry represented there. This year’s speakers included Gareth Blackborow, Senior Key Account Manager from Zoopla, Tony Quigley, Director of Home Ownership at Sovereign Housing, and Jon Peach - the ‘Happiness Expert’ behind Go Be Brilliant, who delivered the inspirational keynote speech. “Ten per cent of life is what happens to you,” he says, “The other ninety percent is how you choose to respond to it.”