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Back to basics: Is it time for a housing-first approach to community regeneration?
Why did voters in West Wales and the Valleys vote for Brexit despite £4bn of European Structural Funding being pumped into the region to regenerate the economy, housing and communities? Many must have walked past the brand new bypasses on their way to the polling station. They now act as metaphor — with a perception that the regeneration has quite simply passed them by. Despite the housing sector’s best efforts to improve the quality of ageing housing stock and regenerating communities, poverty remains well-entrenched. Regeneration, as a discipline, needs to reflect on this and we need to think differently about our approach.
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Matthew Dicks joined the Chartered Institute of Housing following 17 years working as a senior communicator at the heart of Welsh civic and political life, both as a political correspondent for the South Wales Evening Post and ITV Wales, before joining the National Assembly for Wales as its Media Relations Manager, acting as gatekeeper for the institution’s reputation. He has also been a board member of the Cadarn Housing Group since 2013.