Grenfell must be a turning point for housing and health
Commenting on the formal opening of the Grenfell Tower inquiry today, CIH director for Northern Ireland Nicola McCrudden said: “The tragedy of Grenfell Tower has rightfully created a renewed focus on housing and health, and ensuring that these awful events never happen again. The victims and everyone affected by this tragedy are owed this, and more.”
Ms McCrudden said: “We need a UK-wide discussion about the value and the future of social housing.
“For every person who fears for their safety after the tragedy, there are many more who cannot secure a home or who are struggling to keep their home.
“Fundamentally, everyone deserves to live in a safe home. Everyone should be able to close their front door and know that they are out of harm’s way.”
Ms McCrudden was speaking ahead of the CIH annual conference on health and housing today in Belfast. She said ensuring that people were safe and secure in their homes went far beyond physical housing standards as highlighted by Grenfell.
She said: “We have an ageing population that wants to stay in their homes and communities. We need to adapt existing homes to meet their needs and ensure their wellbeing. We also need robust planning for more housing options for older people.
“Housing with care options can help people to regain independence and skills to care for themselves, including when they are discharged from hospital.
“Delays in discharging patients is one of the factors that prevents hospital beds being freed up, and increases pressure on A&E departments.
“Every waiting-list target in health is being missed in Northern Ireland. Housing can play a central role in relieving pressures on our health service, reducing demand for costly health and social care interventions.
“Stormont needs to get back up and running if we are serious about tackling the acute health and housing needs of local people.”
CIH Health and Housing 2017 is sponsored by Radius Housing. Participants include Nichola Mallon MLA – chair of the All Party Group on Housing, Les Allamby – chief commissioner of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission and Clark Bailie – chief executive of the Housing Executive.
For more information please contact Justin Cartwright, CIH policy and public affairs manager on +44 28 9077 8222, +44 7824 304 351 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to editors:The Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) is the independent voice for housing and the home of professional standards. Our goal is simple – to provide housing professionals with the advice, support and knowledge they need to be brilliant. CIH is a registered charity and not-for-profit organisation. This means that the money we make is put back into the organisation and funds the activities we carry out to support the housing sector. We have a diverse membership of people who work in both the public and private sectors, in 20 countries on five continents across the world.