5 Mar 2013

Vic awarded Travelling Fellowship

GreenSquare's Development Director, Vic O'Brien, has been awarded a prestigious Churchill Travelling Fellowship by the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust.

The Trust’s objective for the Travelling Fellowships is to provide opportunities for British citizens to go abroad on a worthwhile enterprise of their own choosing, with the aim of enriching their lives by their wider experience – and to bring benefit to others in the UK through sharing the results of the experience.

Vic will be travelling to the USA in September or October to investigate the operation of the USA Low Income Housing Tax Credit system.

"Under this this system, investors are able to received tax breaks for investing in affordable housing," explained Vic. "I will be visiting people working in the affordable housing system in the USA including people working in the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the State Housing Agencies, investors, developers, managers, and residents.

"I will be producing a report within 3 months after I return that will be published on the Chartered Institute of Housing website.

"As HCA grant remains low, we need to find other ways of funding affordable housing in the UK. Different models will be considered and the USA model may have useful elements that we can use in the UK."

Each year, approximately 100 British citizens are awarded Fellowships for a wide range of projects. Past award winners include nurses, artists, scientists, engineers, farmers, conservationists, carers, craft workers, artisans, members of the emergency services, sportsmen and women, and young people. Since 1966, some 4450 Fellowships have been awarded.

The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust was established when Sir Winston Churchill died in 1965. Thousands of people, out of respect for the man and in gratitude for his inspired leadership, gave generously so that a living memorial to the great man could benefit future generations of British people. This fund now supports 100 Travelling Fellowships and ten Bursaries at Churchill College Cambridge, each year based on the Trust’s charitable object of:

'The advancement and propagation of education in any part of the world for the benefit of British citizens of all walks of life in such exclusively charitable manner that such education will make its recipients more effective in their life and work, whilst benefiting themselves and their communities, and ultimately the UK as a whole.'

To read the blog Vic kept during his travels, please visit lihtc4uk.blogspot.co.uk/

Click here to read the full report.