In this episode Paul Smith talks about providing accommodation for the gypsy and traveler community. He talks about the demand, the challenges, the kind of sites and the kinds of support needed and why Elim Housing Association are getting involved to meet this need.

Paul Smith is the Chief Executive of Elim Housing Association and a Non-Executive Director of Connexus Housing Group. Paul has a degree in astrophysics and became involved in housing over 40 years ago campaigning on the youth homelessness which affected his peers. In 1989 he was a founder of South Bristol Youth Housing now part of one of the largest homelessness organizations in the southwest of England. Paul’s career has included working for two housing associations and for the national trade body for the sector the National Housing Federation.

Alongside his professional housing career Paul has also operated politically, he was first elected as a Bristol City Councilor in 1988, retiring in 1999, having served for ten years on the Housing Committee and at various times leading on property, environmental services and cultural services. Elim is a smaller association with 900 properties, and it is unusual for its breadth of services including hostels for people who have been homeless, sites for Gypsy, Roma & travelers, rented housing for people on low incomes, shared ownership homes, student housing and specialist accommodation for people with complex learning disabilities. Paul is a Chartered member of the Chartered Institute of Housing and a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts.

You can find Paul on Twitter @housingpaul
Elim’s website is
The link to the document Paul discusses is here:

Lisa became a property investor after a long nursing career. She initially developed heritage properties and then a chance encounter led her to discover supported living. She realized this was a powerful way to invest in property while creating homes for those who need them most.

Lisa set about discovering why property investors struggle to let their properties to supported living providers and why providers struggle to find property to let. She has been educating people, raising awareness and working on solutions to this problem ever since. Lisa is founder of The Supported Living Property Network, a place for property investors and supported living providers to connect, build relationships and communicate about property they have available and/or need. Membership includes access to training courses, monthly training events and networking events.

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