The conference is sponsored by Doughty Street Chambers       "Doughty

THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC has disrupted the way in which we live, work, play and everything in between. This includes how we attend this year’s Housing Law Conference, which will for the first time be held virtually.

This is a great opportunity for colleagues from all over England and Wales (or further afield!) to participate in the conference and we look forward to welcoming you all. We have kept the cost of attending the conference as low as possible and, in addition to the usual mix of sessions that we always have, this year all eight seminars will be recorded and delegates will have access to watch the recordings at their leisure after the conference.

The backdrop

The pandemic has served as a stark reminder of inequalities in our social, political and economic systems. This year’s conference builds on our previous topics of austerity, housing inequality and disability discrimination. The conference will be an opportunity to consider housing inequality and justice in the context of the pandemic with a focus on the impacts on Black and ethnic minority people and women. Data suggests women, who tend to earn less and are more likely to have insecure jobs or live close to poverty, have been hit hard. While early reports reveal more men are dying, women have been adversely impacted through the reallocation of resources and priorities; unpaid care work has increased; and, with restricted movement and social isolation measures, domestic violence is increasing, with many women being forced to ‘lockdown’ at home with their abusers.

The picture is also bleak for Black and minority ethnic people, who public health experts have found, depending on their particular ethnicity, were between 10% and 100% more likely to die from Covid-19 than white Britons, and three times more likely to lose their jobs. Infection rates have been considerably higher in areas of poor and overcrowded housing and people from Black and ethnic minority groups are more likely to live in this type of accommodation.

Against this backdrop it is more important than ever for housing advisers to be alive to the inequalities and discrimination faced by clients. This includes overt discrimination such as landlords still advertising ‘No DSS’ properties or the hostile environment Right to Rent legislation, as well as more subtle forms of discrimination faced by people hoping to secure or keep a home.

The conference

The conference will focus on how we combat inequality in housing, with the emphasis on sex and race discrimination. The scene will be set by our keynote speakers David Lammy MP (Shadow Secretary of State for Justice) and Thangam Debbonaire MP (Shadow Secretary of State for Housing). They will be followed by a panel session discussing discrimination and inequality in housing.

The afternoon’s opening session Challenging the dynamics of racism is a time for personal reflection. Raggi Kotak will discuss how we understand the dynamics of race and find ways to notice, critically analyse and do our part to intervene in interactions both in our practices and the wider community, when race dynamics come into play.

As usual, there will also be a selection of informative seminars, dealing with key topics like possession claims, homelessness law, anti-social behaviour, legal aid and costs, home adaptations for the disabled as well as seminars covering sex and race discrimination in a housing law context. There are eight seminars in all and you will have the opportunity to attend two live sessions and to watch recordings of the other sessions after the conference.

The 2020 HLPA Conference is sponsored by Doughty Street Chambers.

Who should attend?

The conference is aimed at all those involved in practising housing law, whether acting for tenants and occupiers of housing or local authorities and social or private landlords. It is relevant to solicitors, barristers, paralegals and advisers in the voluntary, public and private sectors, together with academics and policy workers in the housing and social welfare fields.

The conference is accredited by the Bar Council and the Law Society.

Privacy notice

Personal data submitted through this form is collected by Professional Briefings on behalf of the Housing Law Practitioners’ Association.  Professional Briefings’ privacy policy can be found here  The purpose of collecting this data is for recording registrations for the Housing Law Conference 2020 which will be managed by the Housing Law Practitioners’ Association.