The development director at GreenSquare, the Chippenham-headquartered social housing and care provider, has received a Winston Churchill medallion for researching affordable housing in the US.
Vic O’Brien’s study, undertaken through the Winston Churchill Travelling Fellowship, looked at the US’s Low Income Housing Tax Credit system (LIHTC) with a view to seeing if a similar system could benefit the UK housing industry.
Vic said: “The Travelling Fellowships provide opportunities for British citizens to go abroad on a worthwhile enterprise of their own choosing, with the aim of enriching their lives through wider experience – and to bring benefit to others in the UK by sharing the results.
“For me, the Fellowship not only gave me the chance to undertake some important research – looking at one possible alternative to the UK’s current grant-funded affordable housing system – but also provided me with the opportunity to meet and engage with other professionals; build vital networks with people from all parts of the housing industry; and was a fantastic experience both professionally and personally.”
Vic’s four-week trip last October took him to Boston, Washington DC, New York and North Carolina. He has now finished his research report and is in the process of sharing his findings with housing industry colleagues in the UK.
He received the medallion from Dame Mary Peters DBE, Olympic pentathlete and Fellow of the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust, at a ceremony in London alongside 110 other Fellows who were also receiving their medallions.
GreenSquare, which provides housing, regeneration, care and support and commercial services across Wiltshire, Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire, was last year named as one of the top five housing associations in the UK.
Pictured: Dame Mary Peters DBE presents Vic O’Brien with his Winston Churchill medallion