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Thank you to everyone who came to our conference on 6 July 2022 and made the day such a success. 

You can read write-ups of all the sessions with video clips of the  speakers, plus their slides and some further reading. 

Please do keep in touch!


About the conference

At Capital Letters, we believe housing is best understood as a complex system. Homeless families are caught in the rapidly changing property market and the unwieldy benefits systems. 

So how can we make the private rented sector work better for low-income families in London?

To answer this and other questions, we brought together high-level practitioners, policy influencers, researchers, academics, investors and decision-makers. 

Our solutions-focused conference helped us imagine a different approach to address the challenges we face. 

We have captured the debates and interactive feedback from the day with write-ups, video clips and links to speaker presentations.

Conference sessions

  • Applying systems thinking to housing and homelessness
  • Can councils kick the temporary accommodation habit?
  • Are permitted development conversions a solution to housing shortages, and how do we maintain standards?
  • As the cost of living rises, how do we manage family affordability and the benefits trap
  • Make sure levelling up for London means higher quality and low carbon private rented housing 
  • Why private landlords are part of the solution to homelessness

Who was there

  • Politicians with a housing and homelessness brief
  • Senior council housing officers 
  • Landlords and agents
  • Social housing providers
  • Housing and regeneration professionals
  • Homelessness service providers
  • Affordable housing investors
  • Researchers, campaigners and policy-makers.

Conference catch-up

Our expert speakers describe the family homelessness crisis in London and suggest possible solutions

Keynote address

 Eddie Hughes Housing minister MP 

Scene-setting: family homelessness crisis in London

Sue Coulson, Capital Letters 


Housing complexity and systems thinking

Alex Marsh, University of Bristol

Ligia Teixeira, Centre for Homelessness Impact

Raising standards of permitted development housing schemes

Paul Hackett, Smith Institute 

Ben Clifford, UCL Bartlett School of Planning 

Stephanie Pollitt, London First 

Eloise Shepherd, London Councils 

levelling up

Levelling up for London renters: quality standards and decarbonisation

Laurence Coaker, Brent Council  

Tom Copley, Greater London Authority 

Joanne Drew, Enfield Council  

Sam Bruce, Centre for Social Justice 

Call to action: We are the housing system so let’s change it!

Cllr Darren Rodwell, Deputy Chair, Housing and Planning, London Council 

big debate

Are landlords part of the solution to the homelessness crisis?

Ben Beadle, National Residential Landlords Association 

Matt Downie, Crisis 

temporary accomodation

Kicking the temporary accommodation habit

Claire Harding, Centre for London 

Abigail Davies, Savills 

Deven Ghelani, Policy in Practice 

Conference speakers

Eddie hughes

Eddie Hughes MP

Minister for Rough Sleeping and Housing

Sue Coulson

Sue Coulson

Chief executive, Capital letters

Joanne Drew

Joanne Drew

Director of housing and regeneration, Enfield Council

Alex Marsh

Alex Marsh

Professor of public policy, University of Bristol

Ben Beadle

Ben Beadle

Chief Executive, National Residential Landlords Association


Ligia Teixeira

Chief Executive, Centre for Homelessness Impact


Matt Downie

Chief Executive, Crisis


Modester Anucha

Corporate director – housing strategy & option, Waltham Forest Council

Ben Clifford

Associate Professor in Spatial Planning, UCL Bartlett School of Planning


Deven Ghelani

Director, Policy in Practice

Laurence Coaker

Head of Housing Needs, Brent Council and Acting Chair of Capital Letters

Sam Bruce

Sam Bruce

Head of Housing and Communities, Centre for Social Justice

Claire Harding

Research Director, Centre for London

Tom Copley

Deputy Mayor, Housing and Residential Development, Greater London Authority

Darren Rodwell

Darren Rodwell

Deputy Chair, Housing and Planning, London Councils; Leader, Barking and Dagenham Council


Abigail Davies

Director of Housing Consultancy, Savills

If you are interested in following up any themes conference with Capital Letters, please get in touch