Homelessness in the Time of COVID-19: a focus on London

Hosted by LSE London and Department of Geography and Environment

Online public event


Steve Douglas

Steve Douglas

Chief Executive, St Mungo’s

Professor Christine Whitehead

Professor Christine Whitehead

Deputy Director, LSE London

Jennifer Wynter

Jennifer Wynter

Head of Benefits and Housing Needs, London Borough of Hackney


Dr Nancy Holman

Dr Nancy Holman

Associate Professor of Urban Planning, LSE

In a session chaired by Nancy Holman; Steve Douglas, Christine Whitehead and Jennifer Wynter will discuss the impact of COVID-19 on homelessness in London and the government and local policy response.

Cities and regions across the world are experiencing pressures on the housing, governance and sustainability fronts. Challenges such as creating sustainable transport links, enhancing local democracy or tackling housing shortage push urbanists to think creatively. Founded in 1966, LSE's MSc Regional and Urban Planning Studies (RUPS) programme has established its reputation as a key player in urban innovation with alumni working in public policy, architecture, think tanks and government across the world. Our new series Progressing Planning is designed to showcase LSE's impact on urban issues by bringing together academics and RUPS alumni. In so doing, we aim to show how research at LSE links to practice across the world.

This interactive session will bring together professionals, academics and the public around presentations and a general discussion.

Steve Douglas became St Mungo’s Chief Executive on 1 July, 2020, and has a career spanning more than 25 years in the housing sector. Prior to joining St Mungo’s he was Group Chief Executive of Altair, a housing and regeneration consultancy group advising housing associations as well as central, regional and local government. Prior to that he held Director and Chief Executive positions in a number of housing related roles, which also included funding provision of homelessness services. He has been Chief Executive of the Housing Corporation and Corporate Director of Neighbourhoods and Regeneration for the London Borough of Hackney which included responsibilities in relation to homelessness and temporary accommodation. Steve has also been Chair of One Housing Group, who run Arlington, the homeless centre in Camden.

Christine Whitehead is Emeritus Professor of Housing Economics at the London School of Economics and Deputy Director of LSE London. Christine has conducted an extensive programme of research on various aspects of the housing market, with special reference to housing finance and subsidies, homelessness, social housing provision and land use planning, as well as on urban, industrial policy and privatisation issues. Major themes in her recent research have included analysis of the relationship between planning and housing; housing needs assessments; the role and financing of social housing in the UK and Europe; developments in private finance; policy evaluation; and more generally the application of economic concepts and techniques to questions of public resource allocation with respect to housing, education, policing and urban regeneration.

Jennifer Wynter is head of the Benefits and Housing Needs service at the London Borough of Hackney. She has worked for local government, local authorities for about 30 years. She is currently responsible for about 200 staff members and administering housing and associated benefits every year to 38,000 residents. She also deal with people in housing need coordinating the borough's policy response around rough sleeping, homelessness, housing advice, social housing lettings and temporary accommodation provision or the procurement management maintenance of thousands of units and temporary accommodations.

Nancy Holman is Associate Professor of Urban Planning and Director of RUPS. Her work deals primarily with issues of governance and local planning including sustainable development and community participation. She has often used social network analysis to explore the complex relationships in the multi-level, multi-actor partnerships present in modern governing arrangements.

RUPS (Regional and Urban Planning Studies) is a strongly focused and internationally based planning programme with a long tradition in training both people seeking careers in urban and regional planning policy and mid-career professionals.

LSE London is a research centre at LSE that focuses on the economic and social issues of the London region, as well as the problems and possibilities of other urban and metropolitan regions. The centre has a strong international reputation particularly in the fields of labour markets, social and demographic change, housing, finance, and governance, and it is the leading academic centre for analyses of city-wide developments in London.

Twitter Hashtag for this event: #LSEProgressingPlanning

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This event will be streamed live on Zoom.


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