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

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Terrie Alafat CBE

Chief executive

Terrie Alafat is chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Housing, the independent voice for housing and the home of professional standards. 

She was most recently director of housing in the Department for Communities and Local Government, with overall policy responsibility for the supply and management of housing across all tenures, housing growth, and homelessness prevention and support. As part of this, she also led on sponsorship of the Homes and Communities Agency. She has worked in the civil service covering various housing policies and programmes since 2003.

Terrie was given a CBE in 2013 for services to homeless people.

Terrie began her career in the UK in social services policy development in a local authority and was director of housing and corporate strategy in the royal borough of Kensington and Chelsea until she moved to the civil service. Her academic background is in social policy and research.

"I think what bonds us as housing professionals is a passionate belief about housing’s potential to improve people’s lives, strengthen communities, help vulnerable people and contribute to improving the economic and social health of our society.

"Our vision at CIH is of a housing system that works for everyone, and right now we have a very long way to go.  Millions of people do not have access to a decent home they can afford.  We have got to get more homes built and we have to ensure they are the right kind and in the right places.  So as an organisation and as an industry we need to make sure we are clear about what works and what doesn’t, and that we understand the impact of policies on our communities.  Our strength is being able to advise on the impact of policies, to point out why things aren’t working but also to suggest how things might work better.

"When it comes to delivering good housing we have little chance of getting it right unless we get things right on the front line. That’s what motivated me to join CIH – the opportunity to lead an organisation charged with ensuring that our profession is equipped to deliver better housing."

Watch Terrie talk us through the first day of the Housing 2016 conference: