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

'People who live and work in social housing must lead the debate on its future.'


As CIH launches a major new project called Rethinking social housing, Terrie Alafat says we must help the people that live and work in social housing to lead the debate about its future.

It feels very much like we are in a defining period for social housing.

Housing issues continue to make the headlines, the government has announced that it will complete a ‘top to bottom review’ of the sector in its new Green Paper and recent months have seen a number of very significant announcements for the sector. Meanwhile the Grenfell Tower tragedy has put social housing firmly into the spotlight.

I said in a recent Inside Housing article that now is time for us to have a national conversation about social housing; a fundamental debate about the role and value of social housing today, the policy framework that has developed around it and how we move forward.

We want the sector to lead that conversation and that’s why we’ve launched Rethinking social housing.

Of course this isn’t just about talking, we need to do work which answers a number of fundamental questions – what is the role of social housing today? Who lives in social housing and how do we make sure those people have a voice? And how do we join up housing and welfare policy? We need to answer these and many more important questions.

Rethinking social housing will combine thorough engagement and original research to provoke a real debate about the future and we’re delighted to be working with a number of housing organisations on this project.

Crucially, whether you work or live in social housing, we want to hear from you - and details of how you can take part will be revealed soon when we kick off the first stage of the project. 

We hope that you will join us and play your part in Rethinking social housing.

Terrie Alafat is the chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Housing.

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