Over 2,000 take part in CIH workshops on future of social housing

Terrie Alafat

More than 2,000 people have had their say on the future of social housing by taking part in workshops as part of a major Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) project.

Nearly 200 groups across the UK, including tenants, housing professionals and other people interested in housing, have taken part in workshops over the last two months as part of CIH’s Rethinking social housing project.

An online toolkit was made available in January so that anyone with an interest in social housing could take part in a workshop and report the results back to CIH. Around 760 people completed an online survey designed for those who couldn’t take part in a workshop.

The Rethinking social housing project was launched in November 2017 and is co-chaired by Ken Gibb, professor in housing economics at the University of Glasgow and director of the Collaborative Centre for Housing Evidence (CaCHE), and Paul Tennant, chief executive of the Law Commission and former Orbit chief executive and CIH past president.

The next stage of the project will involve a significant public perceptions survey before the final results of the project along with a report featuring recommendations is revealed in the summer.

Terrie Alafat CBE, CIH chief executive, said: “We are absolutely delighted and quite overwhelmed with the response that we have had to the workshops and to our survey.

“We said from the beginning that it was crucial for the people who live and work in social housing to lead the debate about its future and it is fantastic to see so many people doing exactly that. We are especially pleased to see such a good balance of tenants and housing professionals get involved.

“We knew that we wouldn’t be able to reach so many people if we ran a series of more traditional roundtables and that is why we developed the online toolkit so that people could facilitate their own debates.

“Many of the organisations taking part have told us that, aside from contributing to this flagship CIH project, they have valued the opportunity to take time out to talk and reflect about the role and purpose of social housing today and their part in providing it.

“To see so many people come together to have their say on the purpose of social housing and generate crucial evidence for the Rethinking social housing project in the process is excellent.

“We will now begin the process of collating and interpreting the data we have received and we are already moving on to the next stage of the project which involves gauging public perceptions of social housing.”

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