CIH presidential dinner raises £9k for Women's Aid
Hundreds of housing professionals helped us to raise around £9,000 for Alison Inman's presidential charity Women's Aid.
Nearly 600 people attended our presidential dinner at The Brewery, in London, on Wednesday 7 February.
In a passionate speech, president Alison Inman urged all housing organisations to do more to tackle domestic abuse.
She called on the government to do more to build the homes we need, in particular social rents, and to do more to tackle homelessness. And she praised the work of housing professionals across the UK.
She said: "We have been pleased to see significant progress in some areas, in particular the fact that the UK government has made housing its top domestic priority.
"But of course, we still need more – much more, if we’re going to solve the housing challenges which lie ahead.
"Just this month our research revealed that in England we lost 150,000 social rented homes between 2012 and 2017. And we project that between 2012 and 2020 we will lose 230,000 mostly as a result of right to buy and conversions to higher rents.
"That is a huge concern and a stark reminder of the need for significant new investment in the cheapest rented homes – and, indeed, for us to take a look at whether we are really making the most of our existing homes.
"It’s even more worrying that our recent analysis revealed that of the £53 billion earmarked for housing by the UK Government until 2020/21, just 21%, will directly support the building of new affordable housing.
"And even though the scrapping of the LHA cap for supported housing is a positive, there are still serious concerns about the proposed funding arrangement for short-term providers of emergency accommodation, like my presidential charity Women’s Aid, which we will continue to scrutinise."
Paying tribute to housing professionals she said there was an abiding feeling that the time for housing is now.
"As a sector we do have the capacity to make a massive difference," she said.
"We work with people to build communities. We support individuals and families within those communities, including some of the most vulnerable and marginalised people of all. We help to create places from which people can thrive. And we provide the vital support that turns a unit into a home.
"But with all of that comes huge responsibility. Responsibility to listen to the people we help and to respond. Responsibility to make sure that we are building the right homes in the right places and providing great services. And responsibility to continue to help people who need our support the most."
On domestic abuse Alison said: "Sadly, for the millions of victims of domestic abuse across the UK, home is anything but safe.
"The response I have had since choosing to raise awareness of domestic abuse and to support Women’s Aid has been overwhelming.
"We can, and we should all play a central role in tackling this problem. And I challenge you all to look at your own organisation and ask yourself ‘could I do more?’."
Women's Aid chief executive, Katie Ghose, also gave a speech in which she thanked Alison and CIH for their support and voiced her concerns about the 'devastating' impact of proposed funding arrangements for refuges.