Making room for a discussion on housing

The Chartered Institute of Housing annual conference and exhibition is the leading event in the UK housing calendar – and this year, Housing 2016 promises more innovation, ideas and inspiration than ever before. Government Business looks ahead to the show.

Taking place at Manchester Central from the 28-30 June, Housing 2016 will host the most current debate and innovation that will affect those in the housing sector this year.

With record numbers through its doors for last year’s show, and with the evolving nature of the sector, this year is expected to be busier than ever before.

In her welcome to the event, Terrie Alafat, chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH), noted that ‘this event truly is a forum for professionals from all corners of housing to come together and talk about big issues across the sector, and for us, as an industry, to be part of the solution’.

Those big issues have been widely publicised in the news – social housing rent reduction, the extension of Right to Buy and deregulation.

The uncertainty surrounding housing is sure to continue deep into 2016, making Housing 2016 the perfect opportunity for the sector to come together, take stock and re‑energise. Over the three days the conference will examine and explore the political and policy environment, the economic outlook and the latest thinking across the sector.

Conference 28 June
Following Terrie Alafat’s keynote address, Mark Easton, the BBC’s home editor, will chair the discussion ‘One year in – what will the future policy and legislative environment look like?’. With the help of speakers Andrew Rawnsley, The Observer’s chief political commentator, Isabel Oakeshott, former Sunday Times political editor, and Matthew D’Ancona, columnist at the Evening Standard, the session will be making sense of what the future political landscape will look like, whatever the result and what this could mean for housing.

In the Housing Management Theatre, Debbie Larner, head of policy and practice at the CIH, will be looking at ‘Making fixed term tenancies work’. Bringing together a blend of early adopters and local authorities, attendees will be presented with a variety of examples to help them shape their organisation’s approach to implementing this policy.

Mark Easton will return, alongside Cllr Peter Box of the Local Government Association (LGA), David Orr of the National Housing Federation and Kieth Exford of Affinity Sutton, to explore ‘The future of the relationship between housing associations and local government’. This session will discuss what the relationship could look like in strategic and practical terms, how associations and councils can work together to deliver more homes of mixed tenure, tackle homelessness, deliver social care, and reduce costs.

After eight years, London will elect a new Mayor this month, with housing top of policy priorities. This session, chaired by Lord Kerslake, will provide delegates to hear how the new Mayor plans to deal with the capital’s diverse housing needs. Running at the same time in the Charter 1 Theatre, David Cowans, chief executive of Places for People will discuss ‘How to get to one million homes – what lessons can we learn from our international partners’.

Conference 29 June
The chair of the opening keynote on the conference’s second day will be Owen Jones, columnist for The Guardian, and a regular contributor to the New Statesman and The Independent. ‘Social or commercial mission: building a culture of change’ will brings together four housing associations, to discuss the pros and cons of taking a more commercial or social approach to their mission.

Later in the day, Lord West, vice president of the LGA, will chair a discussion on ‘The impact of welfare reform on housing’, with speakers Alex Burghart from the Centre of Social Justice and Campbell Robb of Shelter. This session will take stock of the reforms and examine what future reforms could look like and what impact these will have on the sector.

Sarah Davis, senior policy and practice officer at CIH, will look at ‘Developing meaningful approaches to tenant engagement and involvement’. This session will bring together the key stakeholders involved in this agenda to discuss and debate what real involvement looks like and how it can be achieved and to answer the question – are we getting it right? Sarah will be joined on stage by Jenny Osbourne, chief executive of TPAS, Nic Bliss, head of policy at the Confederation of Co‑operative Housing and Paul Hackett, chief executive of Amicus Horizon.

After Owen Jones returns to the stage to explore ‘The future of estate regeneration’, The Guardian columnist will chair ‘Devolution: fuelling regional growth, what opportunities does this present for housing?’. This session will bring together three chief executives, from different geographical locations (Cornwall, Birmingham and Manchester) who are at different stages of devolution to discuss what opportunities this shift in power could offer for housing and how these can be exploited.

In the 2015 Comprehensive Spending Review, the Chancellor announced the launch of five Right to Buy pilots. ‘What can we learn from Right to Buy pilots?’ will share some early emerging lessons and share useful and practical tips. The final session of the second day will target regeneration, with Ben Denton of Keepmoat addressing ‘Estate regeneration – taking people with you to build strong communities’. In any regeneration project it is essential that residents are engaged and on-board with plans from the very beginning.

Bringing together a cross section of the sector, the speakers in this talk will showcase real examples of gaining community buy in to regeneration projects.

Conference 30 June
Isabel Hardman, assistant editor of The Spectator, hosts the final opening keynote n the Exchange Auditorium, by asking ‘What will social housing look like in 10 years?’. Dr Peter Williams, director of the Cambridge Centre for Housing and Planning Research, Geeta Nanda, chief executive of TVHA, Matt Prosser, chief executive of the Tri-Council Partnership and CIH chief executive Terrie Alafat will examine what social housing may look like in 10 years and how the sector should respond to this.

Touching upon David Cowan’s session from day one, Melanie Dawes, permanent secretary at the Department for Communities and Local Government, Robert Grundy, head of housing at Savills, Tom Ground, chief executive of L&G Homes and Trudi Elliott, chief executive of the Royal Town Planning Institute will debate ‘How are we going to deliver one million homes? And is that enough?’.

Back to the Delegate of the Future
Following its very successful launch in 2015, Delegate of the Future returns this year. To ensure younger housing professionals from all housing disciplines have the chance to explore new ideas and hone their thinking, this ground-breaking initiative will see 1,000 housing staff, who have yet to attend the sector’s flagship annual event in Manchester, offered a free conference pass for Thursday 30 June at Housing 2016.

CIH will be working once again with five of the UK’s most prominent social landlords in supporting Delegate of the Future, who have recommended six of their most promising colleagues to attend Housing 2016. Additionally, all 500 of the Delegate of the Future nominees who attended Housing 2015 will have the opportunity to attend Housing 2016 as a delegate at a 25 per cent discount.

Health, Social Care & Housing
Launched in 2015, the Health, Social Care and Housing Conference is returning to Manchester for 2016. Running alongside the main conference, the Health, Social Care and Housing sessions are aimed at professionals from social care, local authorities, extra care and housing. The event will run for three days this year and will focus on solutions around the integration of health and housing.

Day one of this conference programme, Tuesday 28 June, will see Domini Gunn, director of health and well-being at CIH, chair a session on ‘The real cost of poor housing’, with the input and knowledge of Professor David Ormandy of the University of Warwick.

Gunn will also be the chairperson for the session on ‘Innovation in housing design and construction to deliver health and well-being’, while the first day will close with a session on ‘Maximising the use and impact of adaptations and of technology to aid health and well-being’.

The second day will see Dr David Paynton of the Royal College of General Practitioners speak on ‘Integrating health, housing and social care’. The CIH’s senior policy and practice officer, Sarah Davis, will discuss ‘Health begins at home’, while there will also be a session on ‘Homelessness and health’.

Domini Gunn returns to this conference programme on Wednesday 30 to explore ‘Delivering change through a skilled, regulated and agile workforce’. The two other session on day three will see Martin Wheatley of the Smith Institute analyse ‘Developing your local housing offer for health and care: targeting outcomes’, and Robin Lawler or Northwards Housing deliver a talk on ‘Integrating health, housing and social care in action’.

Housing Heroes Awards
The Housing Heroes Awards – launched with great success in 2009 – aim to shine the spotlight on the teams and individuals that make housing such a vibrant and caring sector. Many of the awards celebrate the ‘unsung heroes’ of the housing world – from the communications and frontline teams to the lifetime contribution from a tenant.

Jointly organised by Inside Housing and the CIH, the Housing Heroes Awards 2016 will take place at the Exchange Hall at Manchester Central on Monday 27 June, hosted by broadcaster, author and former MP, Gyles Brandreth.

The evening is the opening network dinner that welcomes everyone to Manchester before the CIH Housing Conference opens the next morning. The 2015 awards attracted over 700 people including housing industry figureheads and well-known figures from leading trade associations and government.

The new one million homes target and objectives to build for housing associations means new opportunities for projects, developments and re-tendering of services. Anyone with a product or service to offer the sector has an ideal opportunity right now to position themselves as the supplier of choice for new projects.

Housing 2016 is an opportunity in the calendar to meet with the whole value chain within the housing sector. Reach all of your target market in three days, meet with current clients and check out what the competition is doing.

At last year’s show, 66 per cent of visitors had decision making ability or influence.

Additionally, 191 of the top 250 housing association’s were present, with 63 per cent of exhibitors re‑booking their stand on site for this year.

Dennis Seal, of Buildoffsite, said: “Great event, superbly managed by really nice people who just happen to be totally professional in everything they do.”

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