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Issue 107: July 2017

Like Hillsborough, King’s Cross, Valley Parade and Aberfan, Grenfell Tower will be remembered not just for the deaths of so many people but also as a symbol of a system that has gone wrong.

The sight of its burned-out ruins looming above a council estate that
is surrounded by some of the most affluent parts of London raises inevitable questions about inequality and social division and official indifference to social housing and its residents.

The immediate questions are why the block caught fire so quickly, where to rehouse the residents and how
to prevent something similar ever happening again. They are already the subject of a police investigation and a public inquiry.

Our cover feature looks 
at the aftermath of the disaster and what’s happening in Wales and includes a response by communities secretary Carl Sargeant. While attention has inevitably focused on tower blocks with a similar sort of cladding to that used at Grenfell, there are many other questions that need answers.

Also in this issue we look at the looming impact of two more bits of welfare reform from Westminster. Full Service Universal Credit is about to
be introduced across the country but
it happened first in Flintshire and Jen Griffiths looks at the impact so far. Meanwhile Paul Langley and Katie Dalton assess the implications for the Local Housing Allowance cap on social and supported housing.

As the Assembly considers legislation to abolish the Right to Buy, Rhianon Passmore AM of Welsh Labour and David Melding AM of the Welsh Conservatives debate the case for and against.

In happier times, the cover of WHQ might have featured what social landlords and the construction industry are doing about skills and training, a subject which is integral to the supply pacts that Welsh Government has signed with both.

Our special feature includes articles on skills shortages 
in housebuilding and how to
address them and efforts to get
more women into social housing building maintenance. We also look
at what landlords are doing to deliver community benefits but ask if Wales is in danger of falling behind.

With other articles on subjects ranging from ending homelessness
to building co-operative housing, this Summer issue of WHQ reflects some of what we are doing right in Wales. There could be no more sombre reminder of why that matters so much than what went so spectacularly wrong at Grenfell Tower on June 14.

Jules Birch, editor, WHQ

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