CIH members are 'more important than ever' says housing minister
Mr Barwell was speaking at our House of Lords reception with Inside Housing to celebrate 100 years of CIH and professional housing.
He told an audience of more than 100 housing leaders that the forthcoming housing white paper would set out a "detailed strategy" for how the country will build more homes.
"The truth is," the minister said, "we need more homes of every single kind in this country. Solving the housing crisis is a moral priority.
"Congratulations to the Institute on reaching its centenary. The importance of your members has never been greater."
Terrie Alafat, chief executive of CIH, said: "Today is not only a celebration of CIH’s centenary, it is a celebration of everything that the housing profession and the people that make it so great have achieved over the last century. And we must not underestimate that contribution.
"Housing has been, and continues to be, at the very heart of improving the quality of life across our nation. It has quite literally built a better future for millions of people.
"Our role is a special one, a privileged one. And we must carry on pushing the boundaries of what we do to create great places to live. We must continue to find ways to build high-quality homes, to deliver exceptional services, to understand our customers, to innovate, to work together and to challenge one another. We must continue to demonstrate our long-term commitment to truly serve the communities in which we work."
Terrie spoke of the history of CIH, which has its origins in the work of Octavia Hill and her pupils who formed the Association of Women Housing Workers in 1916.
She said: "I think if Octavia Hill were here now she would be immensely proud of what we have achieved over the last 100 years. Here’s to the next 100."
Earlier the reception’s host, Lord Best, said the UK built more homes 50 years ago than it did today and insisted this had to change. He also congratulated CIH and spoke of how important its work is.
Emma Maier, editor of Inside Housing, said housing was back up the political agenda where it belonged and spoke of the upcoming anniversary of Cathy Come Home as a reminder of the importance of housing for those who need it most.