Consulting

I am a freelance consultant on urban and economic development, public service reform, and programme evaluation.
I use well-honed research, strategy development and facilitation skills to help places and organisations improve and develop.
I have helped local authorities, housing and regeneration partnerships, and some of the biggest charities in the country to better meet the needs of the people they serve. I do this working on solo assignments or in collaboration with other consultancies.
Current and relevant assignments include:
  • Developing an action plan for Peabody Housing Association to ensure its £1billion ten-year redevelopment programme in Thamesmead is used to increase the skills and job-readiness of all residents across different tenures.
  • Writing the Strategic Economic Plan for the Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership. This involved careful facilitation and negotiation of different propositions to develop new jobs and housing completions across the two authorities. The final strategy and associated ‘growth deal’ offer to central government attracted over £120m in combined private and public funding.
  • Developing the Margate Renewal Framework. One of the core objectives of the framework was to re-balance the local housing market away from the predominance of houses-in-multiple-occupation and short-term lets toward a more mixed and sustainable balance.
  • Working with the Chief Executive and cabinet member for housing at the London Borough of Lambeth to develop practical options for their “co-operative housing” agenda and make recommendations on the future of the borough’s arms-length management organisation.
  • Developing the Greater Oxford investment prospectus on behalf of the University of Oxford and the local authorities, setting out high-level proposals for the provision of affordable homes in sustainable communities that would allow the sub-region to continue to grow. On the back of this commission, I developed Oxford’s short-listed bid to be the EU City of Innovation 2016.
  • Working with Macmillan Cancer Support on the development and delivery of a self-evaluation capacity building programme. The purpose of the initiative was to boost the organisation’s ability to self-review and use evidence at corporate and delivery level. I developed a series of tools and rolled out a training programme to Macmillan professionals across the UK.
  • Assessing the impact of national programmes for major charity clients including Marie Curie, Victim Support, Prostate Cancer UK and Drink Aware. In addition to capturing the outcomes, I made suggestions for improvement and in several cases provided follow-on implementation support.
  • Facilitating a half-day session for the entire staff team at the Suzy Lamplugh Trust to develop a theory of change for the entire organisation. I used my facilitation skills to develop and challenge the team’s thinking and produce a model that set out how the organisation would deliver its immediate objectives and long-term goals.
Further details / references are available on request for these and other assignments.

Background

I left the University of Oxford in 1999 with a 2:1 (Hons) in English Literature. I then joined the UK civil service where he formulated and delivered policies and programmes to regenerate the poorest neighbourhoods in the country. This culminated in the development and management of the £42m per year Single Community Programme.
While working in government, I was approached to take up a six-month secondment at the London School of Economics between 2002 and 2003, where I supported the independent review into the future of Birmingham’s £800m public housing stock. In 2005, I won a prestigious Fulbright scholarship to travel to the US to identify lessons from state and federal anti-poverty programmes for the UK’s emergent ‘mixed communities’ policy. I left government to become a consultant in 2006.
speak regularly at events on housing and regeneration and was recently on the advisory board for projects run by ResPublica, IPPR North and the Centre for the Analysis of Social Exclusion. I was a Trustee and then Co-Chair of the Urban Forum, a national charity that supports community groups to take advantage of their rights to shape their local area.
If you would like to get in touch, to commission me, collaborate with me, or just to have a conversation, get in touch!
07941 479 092
J_P_Houghton@hotmail.com
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