26 Apr 2023
A sector snapshot report by the Chartered Institute of Housing’s (CIH) Housing Futures Cymru panel has highlighted the dramatic impact of the cost of living crisis on frontline housing professionals. The findings show workloads are increasing and there is a significant lack of resources to meet demand, with housing professionals concerned about the impact on service delivery for tenants, residents, and local communities.
The report outlines the findings of a survey that sought the views of front-line housing professionals in Wales. There are substantial pressures on frontline housing staff with 43 per cent citing high workloads as the key pressure on service provision. The financial implications of the cost of living crisis on tenants and service delivery was a specific issue for 30 per cent of housing professionals, increasing demand for services and placing further pressure on frontline housing professionals’ workloads. The spike in demand for services is also impacting housing professionals’ ability to obtain timely responses from other organisations when a tenant or resident needed specialist support, adding to concerns about service delivery.
Despite the extreme pressure facing frontline housing professionals the survey found that 85 per cent are motivated to work in the housing sector to help people, make a difference, and have a positive impact on the community, valuing the sense of purpose that working in housing gives them.
Gareth Leech, chair Housing Futures Cymru commented:
“It is encouraging to see that housing professionals remain committed to the social purpose of the sector and are motivated to work in housing as they want to help people, make a difference and have a positive impact on the community. There was also significant value attached to the sense of purpose that working in housing gave them.
“We all know there are significant issues and challenges to the housing sector. Yet without people working in our organisations, we cannot address these challenges. We need to highlight and promote housing as a rewarding career with adequate support and a good work life balance. There is a need to invest in our workforce, making those who work in housing feel valued and respected, especially those in tenant-facing roles as they are the true changemakers among us.”
The report was published on the first day of Tai, Wales largest housing conference hosted by CIH Cymru. The two-day event is focused on the latest developments in the sector and hot housing topics of the moment allowing attendees to hear from a wealth of keynote speakers including Julie James, Minister for Climate Change, Welsh national treasure Nigel Owens, Ian Wright chief executive of the Disruptive Innovators Network and Nick Pettigrew, author of the Sunday Times bestseller ‘Anti-Social’. The event is free for CIH members.
Speaking at the event, Matt Dicks, national director, CIH Cymru commented on the report findings saying:
“CIH Cymru are committed to listening to our members and being a voice for housing across Wales. This survey has highlighted the significant pressures housing professionals are currently facing from rising workloads and insufficient resource, clearly depicting the urgent need for additional funding to ensure the sector can effectively assist those in most need.
“It is heartening to see that despite the increased pressures the profession remains motivated by the sense of purpose that working is housing gives, coupled with a desire to make a difference to tenants, residents, and communities. As a sector we need to look at how we invest in and develop our workforce to ensure we continue to provide good quality help and support to tenants, residents, and communities.”
Established in 2017 Housing Futures Cymru are a policy advisory panel made up of new/young CIH members that have a stake in the future of the housing profession in Wales, set up and supported by CIH Cymru.