Taking care of our mental health is so important in these changing times. We looked at the difficulties facing housing professionals working through Covid-19 and how working life looks very different to what it did nine months ago. We were delighted to be joined by our president Aileen Evans, who last February launched the #ShineALight campaign, a new guide developed to help housing organisations raise their game on mental health. Aileen shared this guide with us, as well as sharing her own personal journey around mental health.
Aware Northern Ireland, the depression charity, and the only charity working exclusively for people with depression and bipolar disorder also provided advice on looking after your mental health and wellbeing during Covid-19.
Young and upcoming housing professionals from across the sector joined us at this virtual event to discuss the housing questions that are most important to them.
Presentations were heard and discussion took place on the following:
Melanie Rees, head of policy and external affairs and Debbie Larner, head of knowledge and products at CIH provided an update on what we need to know about the charter for social housing residents. The publication of the social housing white paper is a major event for the sector. We reflected on the opportunities and the challenges it brings.
The white paper’s key proposals were explained along with what the sector needs to prepare for and the areas on which we need to influence with the overall aim of delivering better outcomes for tenants and residents.
Part one of a five part virtual conference was delivered in partnership with Erosh and sponsored by Alertacall. We listened to presentations looking at how the Covid-19 pandemic has posed huge challenges to professionals working to provide housing and support to older people and explored the future of sheltered housing and the increasing need for flexible housing and care options for older people.
We heard insights on key legal, tax and strategic issues to consider when reviewing your group structure against future objectives, exploring effective development structuring, good governance expectations, and the understanding of models in the sector and their drivers. Our expert panel of speakers also explored the Regulator’s expectations, particularly in light of the implications of the pandemic on the sector and provided an overview of the common hurdles and obstacles and how to prepare for these.
There are over 25,000 long-term empty properties in Wales and despite a wide variety of good practice, the tools currently at the disposal of local authorities and partners have had limited success in reducing the overall amount of empty homes. Tyfu Tai Cymru partnered with the Housing Studies course at Cardiff Metropolitan to deliver this fresh look at how community solutions can find innovative answers to longstanding questions.
CIH Yorkshire and Humberside Regional Board member, Clive Greenwood was In Conversation with Nick Atkin, CEO of Yorkshire Housing to discuss how Yorkshire Housing are fully embracing being agile and what technology is being used to do this. Nick shared his thoughts and observations on how this benefits the organisation, staff and customers, how they have all been engaged in this movement and the how Yorkshire Housing is overcoming the challenges in moving to this way of working. This interiew is a great opportunity to hear from one of the leading organisations in this area.
Hannah Absalom shared aspects of her research and invited delegates to feedback opinions and experiences looking at the role of housing and it's social purpose.
Areas covered were:
Owning Your Future 2020’ is a new series of informal ‘how to’ style sessions designed to provide you with a range of professional development skills, tools, knowledge and advice to turn your career aspirations into reality and set you on the right path to success. The fourth session in this series we looked at making difficult decisions and heard from our speakers on their own personal journeys, lessons that they have learnt and tips for ensuring that you are prepared for whatever lies ahead in your career journey.
We looked at the key elements of the Draft Building Safety Bill which is due before the CLG select committee in July. Debbie Larner, head of knowledge and products, presented the key elements of the bill and considered what this will mean in practice for landlords and, importantly, what must be done to prepare for the new regime.
Supporting the ‘Homes at the Heart’ campaign, experts in the industry discussed the role of social housing today in this webinar. The topics discussed included the role of social housing in the UK’s recovery from COVID-19, the need for innovation in the sector, the use of modern construction methods and how to enable this. Our speakers drew on examples from the City of Bristol.
New challenges need new solutions, new thinking, new ways of working. As organisations and teams work flat-out to respond to the ever-changing demands of the current pandemic alongside a rapidly changing social and economic environment, an investment into the future of leadership in housing is becoming increasingly important. As your professional body, our role at CIH is to equip you to meet these challenges which is why we were delighted to bring you Scotland’s Housing Leaders Exchange.
Senior leaders presented and discussed:
• How they managed through the initial stages of the crisis - what worked, what didn't and what innovations have they made to change their businesses for the better
• How we build back better and reflect on what different challenges we could be facing
• What needs to change so we can get building homes and providing services
• Housing's role in recovery - what governments need to do to help boost their economies
Black History Month took place throughout October and we are proud to present members with a webinar from leading race speaker Karl George. Karl’s personal story as a black man growing up and living in Birmingham throughout his life is one of real power and significance. Racial injustice has been and continues to be rife within British society.
Here at the CIH, we are determined to do more to tackle this and will do more. We want to celebrate the diversity of talent within the sector and support organisations in creating meaningful opportunities for people from all backgrounds to progress in their careers, irrespective of race, gender, sexuality or any other protected characteristic. We also want to do more to ensure that the people that live in our homes, our tenants, residents and customers also have equal opportunity.
At this time of immense change, making the most of your CIH membership is invaluable. The housing profession is on the frontline of helping to support residents, colleagues and the wider community through the impact of COVID-19. We heard from special guests Aileen Evans and Catherine Hinton who shared some of their experiences about their careers and how CIH has supported them as housing professionals.
We heard conversations around what equality and diversity means in a Northern Ireland context. It enabled participants to gain an understanding of how the area of equality and diversity has progressed over the years in Northern Ireland, as well as opening up an honest conversation around what more can be done promote the role of women, ethnic minorities and LGBT+ within our organisations.
We want to give members the confidence to address these issues with colleagues and management within their respective organisations.