New director starts at CIH Cymru
Matt Dicks started as director of CIH Cymru on 6 February 2017 - here he shares his views on starting, the job at hand, and listening to members.
It’s great to finally get my feet under the table and get started on an exciting body of work as the new director of CIH Cymru. The importance of increasing affordable housing supply, building the right mix of high quality homes, needs to be more firmly placed front and centre of the wider public policy debate in Wales. For example, that might be housing at the centre of infrastructure projects, as a solution to issues facing the NHS and social care and as a driver to addressing digital exclusion and social isolation.
And the people who really matter in terms of delivering this agenda are you, CIH Cymru members. So I want to hit the ground running and aim to meet and listen to as many of you as possible over the coming weeks and months. So with that in mind I want you to share with me what you think my priorities should be by taking part in this short survey.
My background is in journalism and communications, working at the coalface of Welsh political life since devolution began in 1999. Stints as a political correspondent with the South Wales Evening Post and ITV Wales, followed by almost a decade as the Head of Media at the National Assembly, I have a wide knowledge of the policy landscape since devolution. Since 2013, I have also sat as a volunteer board member on the Cadarn Housing Group, and am currently the group’s Risk Champion, and also sit on its Audit & Risk Committee.
The big item in my in-tray is of course TAI 2017. Catherine and Lynne, our conferences and events officers, have done such an excellent job yet again in delivering a full and comprehensive programme. That said, I am looking forward to listening to the CEO of the Finland-based Y Foundation, Juha Kaakinen. The Y Foundation is one of the key players in Finland’s Housing First approach to tackling homelessness. And we’re hoping to make a couple of further exciting announcements about the programme so watch this space
So if I don’t see you at TAI, I hope to meet with you soon and together, I believe we can deliver on all our hopes and aspirations!