"Talk is cheap - so why don't you use it more?". This is a presentation I gave to the National Housing and Disrepair Forum annual conference in Birmingham on November 17th 2008.
Much of the conference is about the technical issues of how to reduce the amount of public money spent on compensating housing tenants for repairs that are not done. Of course far more goes to their lawyers - £3,000 of compensation could mean a £15,000 pay out to the law firm. All that money ultameltely comes out of the repairs budget - in turn making it harder for neighbours to get their homes fixed.
I wanted to introduce the idea that this can be a considered a problem of trust and trust is often a problem of communication. Lawyers thrive where trust does not, so how can social landlords begin to become part of networks of trust in the neighbourhoods they serve.