Parties, policy and positive thinking
What can we expect from 2016? As a new year begins, CIH chief executive Terrie Alafat considers where we've come from, where we'd like to be, and what we need to celebrate.
Whether you're a fan of parties, resolutions and Auld Lang Syne or not, the new year is a chance to start afresh and focus on the future, but also to take stock of the last twelve months and consider what changes might need to be made as things move forward.
Are we ready?
The policy changes we've seen come into play in recent months have felt overwhelming at times but despite this, housing organisations have made solid, sensible plans to enable us to deal with them - and in 2016 it's time to turn these plans into action. Are we ready to take on the challenges ahead of us? Are we as clued up as we need to be? Frontline teams are working in roles that are more important than ever before - our role at CIH is to equip them with the skills and training they need to be the very best they can be and provide the highest quality of service for every tenant. It's CIH's job to provide housing professionals and organisations with the resilience they need to cope with change. Our 2016-specific policy webpage outlines the most significant changes due to take effect this year, and brings together all of the information you need to start preparing for them.
No to negativity
Regardless of anything else, I'm going into 2016 with my glass half full. I know the past year has been hard work - I'd be lying if I said otherwise - but since I started my role as chief executive of CIH in April I've seen first-hand the very best of what we do and the impact we have on communities and people’s lives. We're a resilient bunch and during this challenging time we've taken opportunities to come together, use our collective voice and prove just how passionate a group we are. I only need to think back to November's #housingday and the 12,000 tweets sent by housing professionals and proud tenants that day to know that 2015 wasn't all doom and gloom. I think it's important we remember that.
You might have spotted our #housingmatters campaign on Twitter - join us this year as we shout about the positive difference we make, as a profession, to society. 2016 is also CIH's centenary year. Over the next twelve months, we'll be celebrating 100 years since the Association of Women Housing Workers - the Chartered Institute of Housing's ancestral organisation - was founded. I'm thrilled to be a part of CIH during this important year and am looking forward to coming together with the rest of the sector to recognise social housing's successes of the past century. But it's also important that we look to the future - what can we learn from? What needs to change?
I hope that the winter holidays will have given us all a chance to rejuvenate. Now we're back and officially into 2016, it's time to hit the ground running, get creative, and tackle the bigger issues head-on. Let's say a confident 'hello' to 2016 - I know we can deal with whatever it throws our way.