I spent last week at Housing 2023 attending the Women in Housing and Housing Heroes awards through to the closing address from the CIH President and the Housing Minister. Having reflected on the various talks I heard and the great in-person conversations with clients and connections, for me the overriding theme was balance.

  • With the Social Housing Regulation Bill imminently about to receive royal assent and the RSH ready to press go on a consultation on the new consumer regulatory standards, organisations will need to ensure tenants can input their voices and that those voices are heard. The tenant voice will need to have increasing influence.
  • The importance of organisations being able to respond promptly to pressing and urgent needs, but without forgetting the longer-term plan and objectives.
  • The balance between building new homes but also regenerating and retrofitting existing stock essential to ensuring sufficient, good quality, safe housing
  • The announcement at the start of the week about organisations being able to use recycled capital grant funds for regeneration (subject to conditions) is a very welcome one.
  • The continued pressures on organisations to provide quality homes and services in the context of increasing financial costs and supply chain issues.
  • The importance of having a range of skills and perspectives inputting to all areas of decision-making, to ensure truly diverse and inclusive workforces and boards.

It goes without saying that the balancing exercise is a tricky one and one that will look different for different organisations depending on their particular circumstances and their own priorities. Ensuring a clear and coherent strategy with the right skill sets and perspectives, together with an ability to flex and respond where needed, will help make that exercise a little easier.