Please note: The podcasts for the speakers in the first session of this event are not available for listening on this site due to a technical problem. The UK is experiencing its first sharp economic downturn since the 1990s. This creates a set of new and unique challenges for senior managers in local government. This conference looked at the impact of a slowing housing market on local government. The impact of this credit crunch, and a potential recession, has led to growing numbers of repossessions. This coupled with a mortgage drought has resulted in local authorities across the country seeing massive increases on already over stretched social housing provision. Delegates discussed potential strategies to intervene and stabilise the housing market, including: local authority financial support to troubled homeowners and first time buyers through their prudential borrowing power; enabling local authorities to buy unsold private properties for rent; limiting ‘right-to-buy’ properties. Delegates also heard direct from government about the Social Housing Grants which will be available from 2009.