Welcome to the Chartered Institute of Housing. Housing has moved up the political agenda in 2013 - and this is to be welcomed. All of the main political parties have brought forward ideas and solutions for making housing more accessible, reducing volatility in the housing market, or making housing more affordable. There is clear blue water between the Conservative party - with its focus on demand side levers, such as Funding for Lending and Help to Buy, and the Labour party - with its pledge to build 200,000 homes per year, and the establishment of the Lyons Commission to look at supply side solutions.
Why the sudden interest? Perhaps it’s due to the public mood. Polling from Ipsos MORI found that 80% agree there’s a housing crisis. Coverage of housing in the media reflects public discourse - whether it’s to proclaim that house prices are rising, to highlight the struggles of first time buyers or to debate access to social housing and welfare entitlement. Housing is front and centre in the debate across the UK.
The Chartered Institute of Housing is the professional body for housing. Our 22,000 members work daily to improve housing outcomes for everyone, and their skill and experience inform our work to influence change. We value our independence - every solution we propose is grounded in evidence- whether this is through the annual UK Housing Review, the Housing Report which assesses progress by government against its own priorities, or individual pieces of research that test implementation of key policies - such as our research into the impact of the benefit cap. Our job is to propose positive reforms to alleviate our unprecedented supply crisis - and to measure the impact of these reforms, and to state honestly when they work, and when they don’t. That’s what it means to be the independent voice for housing.
I have the privilege of running an organisation that is also committed to the promotion and protection of professional standards. CIH awards excellence through education and through membership. Our professional qualifications and our training and development opportunities enable housing professionals to be the best they can be. Members enhance standards throughout their career through Continuing Professional Development, and I’m proud of the many employers that continue to invest in professional standards, in spite of the financial challenges for organisations.
But membership of CIH extends beyond formal education and learning. It provides an opportunity to learn through networks - whether by being an active member of our National and Regional Boards, or by attending the many CIH events, such as our flagship Housing conference in Manchester each year. If you work in housing, if you’re committed to the best standards of service and to the ethics and values that ensure the best housing for all, contact our membership team to find out how you can join an international network of housing professionals. You’ll have access to cutting edge information and guidance to help you excel, you’ll have the edge in a competitive labour market, and you’ll be part of an organisation that works every day to improve the lives of the people we serve.
I look forward to working with you,