House of the Commons 2016
£10 – £25
House of the Commons 2016

House of the Commons 2016

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Cowley Road Methodist Church

Cowley Road

Oxford, United Kingdom

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House of the Commons is a three day event organised by architecture and design collective, Transition by Design, in collaboration with citizens, activists and housing professionals concerned with the UK housing crisis, specifically focusing on Oxford, but with a UK outlook.

There will be an exciting line-up of speakers, workshops and skill-shares examining the current context and drivers of the crisis with the aim to explore creative alternatives to these problems.

Join us in this participatory event with activitsts, academics, filmmakers and more. We have great speakers such as Danny Dorling from Oxford University, Sara Mahmoud from Shelter, Aysen Dennis from Aylsebury Tenants and Leaseholders First and many more exciting contributors! We'll also have hands-on practical workshops on solar systems and natural building materials!

The event and sessions are open to all people wanting to find out more about our current housing situation and where we could go next, so come and be part of the discussions.

Tickets will include a delicious lunch each day, with teas, coffees and cakes during the break sessions! Bursaries are available if you're not able to buy a ticket, just get in touch with us via . We'd love for everyone to be able to join us.

There will be a free kids space with our volunteers running activities, but please let us know so we can plan the sessions according to numbers.

For further info or updates on our programme, go to our website HERE!

*Please note change of location on Day 3!

Day 1: Friday, 21st October

Location: Cowley Road Methodist Church


Setting the scene: The mess, and how we might find our way out.

10:00-11:00 - Root causes with Beth Stratford, Alice Belotti and Alastair Parvin

  • Beth Stratford: Drivers to the housing crisis - banks, corruption and wealth inequality
  • Alice Belotti: So where does that leave us? - Estate regeneration and impacts on communities.
  • Alastair Parvin: Housing without Debt - breaking the traditional supply myths, and how we might use digital technology and new commons to scale alternative modes of housing delivery and build a new housing economy.

11:15-12:00 - Shared equity co-operatives as a fairer housing models with Terrace 21 (Liverpool) and LILAC (Leeds)

12:00-12:15 - BREAK

Smart Housing approaches: baking, converting and refurbishing from Liverpool to Bristol

12:15-12:30 - Homebaked: Using a bakery to develop low-income housing

12:30-12:45 - Reviving Britain's existing housing stock through eco-retrofit with Jonathan Atkinson (Carbon Coop) and Marianne Heaslip (Urbed)

12:45-13:00 - Turning disused office buildings into homes with Elinor Kershaw from Abolish Empty Office Buildings

13:00-13:15 - Q&A

13:15-14:00 - LUNCH

Taking on the big ticket issues

14:15-13:45 - Session 1: How can we build effective links and solidarity across borders? with Dr. Barbara Harrell-Bond, Emerita Professor and Founder at Refugees Study Centre and discussions with Oxford City of Sanctuary, Asylum Welcome, St. Mungos, Crisis Oxford and Close Campsfield.

                       Session 2: Housing and energy: smarther, healthier and fairer - Energy Democracy Workshop led by Fuel Poverty Action, Transition by Design, 10:10 and others.

15:45-16:15 - BREAK

16:15-17:00 - Oxford Housing Crisis Summit. How can housing providers and citizens work more effectively together?

A panel summary session with representatives from each earlier session

End of formal session.

17:00-18:00 - Housing Crisis Forum Theatre - an evening of theatre and conversation on the housing crisis.

END. Join us for an interactive performance of Three Acres and a Cow. Tickets available on Eventbrite.

Day 2: Saturday, 22nd October

Location: Cowley Road Methodist Church


The Root Issues - joining the dots

10:00-11:15 - Inequality and Neoliberalism with Ross Ashcroft, Sara Mahmoud and Lisa McKenzie

  • Sara Mahmoud: The Housing Act and current policy environment - highlighting the multiple failures of recent governments and policy to offer real solutions to the housing situation.
  • Lisa McKenzie: Estates and regeneration - how the root problems are affecting people in our cities today from a case study of her own estate in Nottingham. (TBC)
  • Ross Ashcroft: The big challenges ahead - neoliberalism, its failings and how it has fuelled the current climate, followed by a positive outlook to tackling some of the biggest challenges of our time.

Gentrification, Resistance and Building Renters Power

11:15-12:00 - Current Housing Landscape with Take Back the City, New Era Estate, and Radical Housing Network and Linking Campaigns

12:00-12:15 - BREAK

12:15-13:15- Gentrification, Resistance and Renters Rights with Aysen Dennis of Aylesbury Estate, Our West Hendon (TBC) and Save Earl's Court Supporters Club

13:15-14:00 - LUNCH

The (Un)landed generation?

14:15-15:30 - Session 1: Relationship between land and money with Josh Ryan-Collins, Danny Dorling and Mary Robertson.

  • Josh Ryan-Collins (New Economics Foundation): Where does money come from? - The function of money in society and how land is being used by the rich to deepen inequality
  • Danny Dorling: Inequality and the housing crisis - connecting the global situation to where we can act today
  • Mary Robertson: An alternative mactoeconomic response - how we might invest in a more equal society through a focus on building programmes rather than demand-side solutions.

                       Session 2: COB Natural Building Materials Workshop Part 2

15:45-16:00 - BREAK

16:00-17:00 - Session 1: Land for What? -  a participatory session on the history of land in Britain and the fitire for land-based solutions with Land for What, Shared Assets, Ubele, Radical Housing Network and Land Workers Alliance.

16:00-18:00 - Session 2: COB Natural Building Materials Worksop Part 3

END. Join us for an evening of spoken words, music and  political commentary. Details to be released soon, including some surprise contributors.

Day 3: Sunday, 23rd October

Location: East Oxford Community Centre

44 Princes Street, Oxford, OX4 1DD


Inspiring examples from groups taking action for fairer housing

10:30-12:00 - Actions with ASH, Concrete Action, London Co-operative Housing Group and Neighbourhood Planning with Sue Brownhill and Fiona Mullins

  • Scene setting with Charlie Fisher (Transition by Design): An overview of groups and models, highlighting the fertile new ground for disruptive housing models that exists
  • Fresh ideas for linking professionals with community action and housing struggles with Architects for Social Housing and Concrete Action
  • London Co-operative Housing Group, and introduction from Claudia Firth
  • Neighbourhood Planning and its role in shaping places locally with Sue Brownhill on 'the future of national policy' and Fina Mullins on her work with neighbourhood forums in Oxford.

12:00-12:15 - BREAK

12:15-13:15- Reasons to organise in our communities

                      Discussion Session 1 with Advisory Service for Squatters, MakeSpace Oxford CIC, Homeless Voice, Fair Housing, Oxford Housing Crisis Collective, Fairer Housing Oxford and FairHomes

13:15-14:00 - LUNCH

14:15-15:15 - Discussion Session 2 with Homes for Oxford, Kindling Housing Co-operative, Students for Co-operation and Host Oxford

15:15-15:30 - BREAK

Moving to action: reflecting on ideas from across the three days and how we build local projects and campaign

15:30-16:00 - Plenary session


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Cowley Road Methodist Church

Cowley Road

Oxford, United Kingdom

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