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

Let’s not take our foot off the gas


Debbie Larner, Head of Practice, discusses championing equality and diversity issues

For many years now our sector has really taken the lead in championing equality and diversity issues – both in our recruitment and employment strategies and the provision of tailored and accessible services to our tenants.

But let’s not get complacent - there is still some way to go to mainstream our approaches and continue to demonstrate an ongoing commitment to equality and diversity issues. And the current environment we are working in continues to throw us challenges:

The refocus from consumer to economic regulation – how will we continue to ensure that the diversity issues which we fought so hard to get embedded into the TSA standards framework remain core?

The trigger that is “serious detriment” – will failure to deliver on equality and diversity issues fall under this banner?

Welfare and housing reforms – how do we assess and mitigate for the disproportionate impact this may have on some groups of current and future tenants?

The focus on localism, individual and community responsibility is a real opportunity to provide tailored and responsive services across the piece, but it also means less inspection, enforcement and top down scrutiny. Hopefully, this will not mean that providers take their foot off the gas in relation to equality and diversity issues.

CIH is committed to providing the support the sector needs to be brilliant - and equality and diversity remains top of our agenda. We have just published our Single Equality Scheme (and accompanying Workplan). I was really pleased to be involved in the development of our scheme and am really proud of what we have delivered to date and our ambitions for the future.

Please do take the time to look at our Scheme and Workplan – we see this as a living, breathing document that is shaped by, and responsive to, our sector. Tell us what you think and also do tell us about the great things you are doing to embed diversity through your work – let’s continue to lead the way.

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