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The Chartered Institute of Housing is the independent voice for housing and the home of professional standards

Equality and diversity: CIH charter for housing


Housing plays a fundamental role in everyone’s life. Homes and the communities in which they are located, directly influence our access to key social and economic opportunities and they affect our wellbeing. CIH is taking a lead in driving equality and diversity in housing. In 2011 we published our new Single Equality Scheme which sets out our commitment to equality and diversity and includes a dynamic action plan, outlining achievements and priorities.

We believe that striving for greater equality means the sector is working towards a better balance of opportunities, resources and decision making processes for staff, customers and employees. Striving for greater diversity will ensure that the housing sector provides the right services and meets the right needs and aspirations of their customers in their diversity.

Why do we need an equality and diversity charter?

  • Housing and human rights: Britain is a signatory to the European Convention on Human Rights, which gives people protection for a range of human rights, several of which are relevant to housing providers
  • Equality Act 2010: brings together anti-discrimination and equality legislation to protect employees and service users across nine protected characteristics: age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation
  • Public Sector Equality Duty: new duties require housing providers to give “due regard” to the need to eliminate discrimination, advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations where they exercise a public function
  • Regulation: changes to the regulatory and inspection framework in the social housing sector will mean the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) adopting a more reactive approach to consumer protection with fewer codes of guidance to support the development and sharing of best practice
  • Localism: more flexible approaches to allocations and lettings means that housing providers will need to make sure their priorities reflect the needs and aspirations of their communities in their diversity to ensure fair and accessible housing for all.

The charter

Supporting you to deliver the charter

Many housing organisations have used CIH charters to improve their services.  Read about what they have done and how your organisation can make best use of the charters in the CIH publication How to improve your services with CIH charters.

CIH provides a range of services that can help you to deliver against the charter:


Our latest charter

The income management charter is a flexible framework unique to CIH that helps organisations to challenge their income management services and identify the outcomes a good quality service can deliver.

Find out more >>


How to briefings

How to briefings are concise and practically focused guides for housing practitioners.

Our latest briefing covers How to develop homelessness prevention solutions.


The new housing apprenticeships

With a century of experience equipping housing professionals with the skills they need to do the brilliant work they do, we can help you make the most of the new housing apprenticeships – whatever stage of the journey you are at.