M3 and the NHMF commissions publications on topics of immediate concern to those managing the maintenance and development of social housing.

Hattie the House (Colouring book)

"Hattie tells Greg she’s not well – what happens when the house team comes to help her?" Teach residents and their children about condensation and damp with Hattie the House.

Price: £5.99 (excluding p&p) Order here

Understanding development appraisal

This publication is designed to guide development staff through the methods used to assess whether development projects are financially viable.

Price: £39.95 (print version) Order here

Talking Housing Repair

In the last ten years the NHMF has funded a dozen or more publications by the National Housing Federation on the repair and maintenance of social housing stock.

Most of them have been collaborative efforts by a small team of authors guided by a readers’ panel drawn from practitioners. We take pride in them and think they are very good.

But this one is refreshingly different. It makes no pretence at balancing one viewpoint against another. Instead you get the wisdom born of many years’ experience, and the clarity of one person’s opinions.

Many people reach retirement and jest that they should write down all the knowledge they have acquired during their working lives but very few actually sit down and do so. The truth is that it simply isn’t possible to write down or store knowledge. Knowledge is gathered from experience and passed on face to face through shared experience.

Through his relaxed, unassuming style Rob gets very close to having a direct conversation with his readers. He shares a wealth of information and an opinion which has been tried and tested in real life. I cannot think of a better book to circulate around members of the board, or tenants who are interested in getting involved in helping to shape their repairs service.

The early chapters are sometimes quite technical, but even these should be quite easy for anyone coming relatively new to the subject to understand. The technical nature of the subject should not obscure the vital and wholly beneficial involvement of tenants that is required in almost all aspects of the planning, design, commissioning and undertaking of repair and maintenance work.

If you put ten of the most experienced maintenance managers into a room and asked them to tell you what really matters, all would agree on most of what he says but none would agree on all of it. I don’t agree with him on diagnosing repairs. You will almost certainly have your own views. It all leads to a healthy debate.

As one of our consultants commented “he’s giving away the crown jewels”. Read and enjoy. Dave Treanor, M3

*Housing professionals who knew Rob personally, will be sad to hear that he passed away at the beginning of March 2016. His depth and breadth of knowledge and his great sense of humour will be well remembered by many of his former colleagues.

Price: £19.95 (excluding p&p) Order here

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