Callum Chomczuk and John Mills: A partnership to promote the housing profession in Fife

Callum Chomczuk and John Mills: A partnership to promote the housing profession in Fife

Callum Chomczuk

Callum Chomczuk, national director at CIH Scotland, and John Mills, head of housing services at Fife Council, showcase the signing of a new partnership agreement between the two organisations.

A new partnership has today been launched by CIH Scotland and Fife Council setting out how they will work together to promote the Housing Profession in Fife and collaborate to improve Rapid Rehousing Transition Plans (RRTPs) to reduce homelessness in Scotland.

To promote the CIH and Fife Council partnership, the Council has agreed to sponsor a series of CIH Scotland events, including Scotland’s Housing Festival, the CIH Scotland Housing Awards and The Big Conversation, helping ensure these events remain live and in person for members in Scotland across 2022. This support will help extend and enhance housing practitioner professional networks across Scotland.

Finally, Fife Council Housing Training Academy students will all be made full members of the Chartered Institute of Housing. Giving them access to the CIH professional standards toolkit, the mentoring platform and free access to all CIH events across the UK.

A key element of the partnership is to enhance the development and delivery of the Rapid Rehousing Transition Plans in Fife and the rest of Scotland and has been informed by a July 2021 CIH Scotland report setting out recommendations on how RRTPs can be improved across Scotland. It contained 26 recommendations, including the three below which CIH Scotland believe would benefit from urgent attention.

Monitoring and reportingThe Scottish Government should work with local authorities through the Homelessness Prevention and Strategy Group (HSPG) and RRTP working group to develop a more formal framework for monitoring progress and performance. This should build upon existing reporting mechanisms and help to measure success and identify where changes in approach or further resources are required.

FundingLong term, multi-year funding is required to make the kind of transformative changes outlined in RRTPs and in order to meet the Scottish Government’s ambition to end homelessness. Future funding should be made available in three-to-five-year cycles.

Access to the PRSThe Scottish Government should consider using its social security powers to ‘top up’ support with housing costs for private tenants.

Improving RRTPs and working towards ending homelessness can’t be achieved by one organisation alone. The complexity of the issues and ultimately the prevalence of homelessness, despite repeated reforms and initiatives highlight the need for deep partnership working across the housing sector.

That is why, at Scotland’s Housing Festival this year, CIH Scotland and Fife Council will sign a partnership agreement to set out how both organisations can progress the three issues above, build on the progress made by rapid rehousing transition plans and work toward ending homelessness.

We hope that the output from this Partnership provides clear support and resources for local authorities, and their partners, to improve the structures for addressing homelessness and supports and enhances housing professionalism across the country. We look forward to keeping the sector updated with the progress we make over the next two years.

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