We have a huge crisis in many of our housing markets, but we want a housing system that works for everyone.

The policy team works hard to support members with policy knowledge and influence key decision-makers on policy implementation. 

What we do

  • Publish research and briefings on important housing issues, including the annual statistical publication UK Housing Review
  • Work closely with senior policy makers in all parts of the UK to shape the housing agenda
  • Strive to improve the media’s coverage of housing issues and inform the public
  • Draw on the expertise and opinions of our members to shape our views, arguments and priorities.

CIH’s foundation as a social purpose organisation provides opportunities for us to challenge thinking and decisions, in a constructive and evidence-based manner.

Meet the team
Policy management team

James Prestwich is the director of policy and external affairs at the Chartered Institute of Housing. He leads our influencing and public affairs work across the UK. Before joining CIH in early 2020 from the National Housing Federation (NHF), he held the head of policy. Visit LinkedIn to find out more about James.

Rachael Williamson is the head of policy and external affairs. Before joining CIH, Rachael worked at Citizens Advice in roles spanning policy research, communications, and fundraising. Prior to that, she spent over ten years working in central government, working on (mainly housing) policy development, legislation, and project management. Visit LinkedIn to find out more about Rachael

Justin Cartwright is the Northern Ireland national director and leads our influencing and external affairs work for Northern Ireland, having joined CIH in 2013 as policy and public affairs manager. Justin is chair of Belfast City Centre Management Company Ltd and a trustee of Supporting Communities. Visit LinkedIn to find out more about Justin.

Callum Chomczuk is the national director and leads the team for CIH Scotland, having taken on the post in September 2018. He initially joined the Institute in March 2018 as deputy director. He previously worked in consultancy as the head of public affairs for Pagoda PR after working in policy roles in the third sector and as a Scottish parliamentary researcher. Visit LinkedIn to find out more about Callum

Matt Dicks is the national director of CIH Cymru and leads the team in Wales. Matt took his current role armed with a breadth of knowledge of the Welsh policy landscape following 17 years of working as a senior communicator at the heart of Welsh civic and political life. He joined the National Assembly for Wales (now Welsh parliament) as its head of news. He transformed the Welsh Parliament’s media operation into the modern multi-platform, multi-media function you see today. Visit LinkedIn to find out more about Matt.

Policy and practice team

Ashley Campbell is a policy and practice manager at CIH Scotland, her role involves ensuring members' views are reflected in responses to local and national consultations, developing briefings and practice materials to keep the sector up to date with the latest changes, and working to influence policy and legislation.

Cerys Clark is the policy and public affairs manager for CIH Cymru. Cerys has a background in local authority work from frontline homelessness to housing strategy and policy work. She is currently undertaking a PhD at Cardiff Met and is a chartered CIH member.

Hannah Keilloh is a policy and practice officer who leads our policy work surrounding planning, homelessness, and domestic abuse. Hannah is a member of the Royal Town Planning Institute.

John Perry is a policy advisor for CIH and contributes to editing the UK Housing Review and advises on various subjects, including local authority finance, housing investment, and much more. He also manages the CIH housing rights website. 

Julie Steele is is an engagement and external affairs manager for CIH NI. Julie supports CIH NI members while building and maintaining relationships with influential individuals and organisations within the Northern Irish housing sector. She is also involved in supporting the development of consultation responses for the Northern Ireland policy team. 

Matthew Scott is a policy and practice officer who leads our work on asset management, specifically on building safety, repairs and maintenance and the domestic transition to Net Zero in social housing. He holds a PhD from Newcastle University and has previously held several research and policy roles in the academic and third sectors. 

Niki Walton is senior knowledge management and research administrator in the CIH policy and practice team and a chartered CIH member.

Sam Lister is a policy and practice officer and leads on policy issues surrounding welfare, housing law and the private rented sector. Sam is also a chartered CIH member.

Sarah Davis is a senior policy and practice officer who leads in ageing, health, care, support, rural housing, tenant engagement, and housing strategy.

Susanne Flynn is a policy and practice officer at CIH Scotland. Her role involves supporting the development of consultation responses and practice materials, providing project and research support for the Scotland policy team, and keeping members up to date via briefings, press releases, and social media.

Our policy networks
Policy advisory committee

CIH’s policy advisory committee (PAC) is a delegated board within CIH’s governance structure, advising on the development and review of our housing policy positions. It considers the wider policy landscape and looks at CIH’s contribution to influencing policy outcomes in housing and related public policy areas. The committee meets around four times a year and membership is based on a selection process.

Our current members are:

  • Charlotte Carpenter (chair) - Executive director of growth and business development, Karbon Homes
  • Alistair Smyth - Director of external affairs and social investment at The Guinness Partnership - on secondment to National Housing Federation
  • Brian Robson – Policy director, Northern Housing Consortium
  • Nick Murphy – Exec director
  • Ian Johnson – Exec director of customer services, Karbon Homes
  • Tom Woodman - Chief executive, Cornerstone Housing
  • Eloise Shepherd – Housing and planning lead, London Councils
  • Caroline Hannon - Head of delivery, South Holland DC
  • Estelle Corner - Partner, Howes Percival LLP
  • Branwen Evans - Director, Places for People.
Planning for housing network

The planning for housing network aims to help develop essential joint thinking and working between people engaged with housing strategy and provision and to ensure there are close links between housing and planning.

Find out more and join

Assets and repairs group

The CIH assets and repairs group brings together senior asset management professionals to influence CIH’s policy work and share good practice on building safety, decent homes, decarbonisation, resident empowerment and proactive asset management.

Email us to get involved

Net zero community of practice

The net zero community of practice is a group which brings together people focused on decarbonising social homes, in various roles and at different levels of seniority. It provides a venue for members to share learning and experiences, and to help shape CIH’s policy work in this area.

We are keen to welcome more members to the group.

Email us to get involved

Social security group *coming soon*

We are in the process of setting up a social security group that brings together people interested in welfare reform, with a particular focus at present on the cost of living crisis. The group will provide a forum for members to share learnings and experiences, and to help shape CIH’s policy work in this area.

Find out more

Development issues group

CIH is establishing a new group for housing professionals active in development to come together and discuss the key issues currently affecting registered providers. The group will meet bi-monthly and will discuss a range of issues, including but not limited to the following:

  • New build investment vs regeneration and investment in existing stock
  • Planning reform
  • Carbon emission targets in development
  • Design quality
  • Land lead development vs package deals/ developer agreements
  • Supporting SME housebuilders
  • Supported housing development funding and capacity
  • MMC and modular housing
  • Financial barriers to development
  • Development skills and training resources

Email us to get involved

Local authority group on consumer regulation

The CIH local authority group brings together housing professionals working in local government who are focussed on implementation of the social housing charter (enacted through the social housing bill). It provides a venue for members to hear updates from CIH, the Regulator of Social Housing and the LGA and a forum for sharing learning and experiences.

New members are welcome, please email policyandpractice@cih.org to sign up and join the network.

Anti-social behaviour network

Following on from a successful round table with some great expert speakers, looking at the government’s proposals in the ASB action plan (which informed our response to the Home Office’s recent consultation on Community Safety partnerships and ASB powers), CIH is intending to bring together a network of practitioners to explore what is happening, and what support organisations and communities need to tackle ASB. We will be looking in our next meeting at the consumer standards when these are issued, and exploring the recommendations of the APPG on ASB.

Sign up to join the network by contacting policyandpractice@cih.org

The CIH contact for any questions about this group or policy area is Sarah Davis who can be reached via email at sarah.davis@cih.org

Stay up to date

You can keep up to date with the latest topics and trends across the UK by reading our news, blogs and publications for housing professionals.

Latest reports
Our publications focus on the latest policy topics and practical advice that you need to do your job.
Latest news
Stay up-to-date with the latest news in the industry and search for news in your area.
Latest news
Blogs & articles
Updated every week, read our latest blogs and articles on everything from hot policy topics to career development.
Blogs & articles

Related links

Housing rights
Our Housing Rights website gives recent arrivals and housing advisers up-to-date information about people's rights when looking for a home, based on their immigration status.
The UK Housing Review
Our UK Housing Review is published annually and there is an update each Autumn. Visit the UK Housing Review website to download data and analytical chapters of the Review.
Get involved
Become a volunteer and get involved in our various groups across CIH to help us improve our service, develop relevant content, training, and products, and strengthen our voice in the housing profession.

Got a question for the policy team? Contact us today.