East Midlands Housing Challenge

Document Sample
East Midlands Housing Challenge Powered By Docstoc


East Midlands
Housing Challenge
In November 2005 the CIH and National         The NHF and CIH are keen to develop            If you are interested in the work or events
Housing Federation in the East Midlands       closer links in the region and to work         that are planned by the East Midlands
joined together to produce a pocket sized     together where we have common aims. In         branch of the CIH you can contact Roy
booklet of key housing statistics and         addition to producing this booklet we have     Greenwell on the above e mail address
commentary on the region. This document       also collaborated on a series of joint         or Christine Ashton. Branch chair on
is an invaluable information and lobbying     Midlands Excellence in the Housing Sector
tool. It uses the government’s own official   sessions and are currently in discussions
statistics to make the case for more          over further joint campaigning work to
investment in affordable housing and          promote the region in the run up to the
economic development in the East              Comprehensive Spending Review.
                                              A West Midlands United campaign was
For instance, in the East Midlands:           conceived in the Autumn of 2005, and the
                                              recent CIH East Midlands branch AGM
* The regional house price to income ratio
                                              approved joining this campaign. An
  is now 7.2, rising to over eight times
                                              outcome of this work will be a piece of
  incomes in a quarter of local authority
                                              research into housing and economic
                                              growth across the 2 regions, as well as
• House prices have risen 138% since          engaging with regional MPs and
  1997, but incomes have only gone up         stakeholders in both the public and private
  by 17%                                      sectors. Although this is a joint campaign
                                              the differences between the East and West
• Housing waiting lists have increased
                                              Midlands will be reflected as well as the
  27% in five years, with homelessness
                                              common themes.
  acceptances growing 35% in the same
  period                                      The East and West Midlands CIH branches
                                              also have a joint conference planned for 6
• The Regional Housing Board will fund
                                              October 2006 at The Belfry.
  around 4,336 affordable homes in
  2006/8, but the new Regional Housing        Copies of the booklet can be obtained
  Strategy indicates a need for nearly        from either the NHF or the CIH.
  13,000 homes in these two years             Contact Roy Greenwell on
                                     or Jenny Allen
• Housing associations produced 2,740
                                              on A pdf
  new affordable homes last year, but
                                              version can be downloaded from the
  nearly 6,200 were sold through the
                                              NHF website
  Right to Buy

                                                 Chris’s New Chair
                                                 The recent East Midlands CIH AGM elected Chris Ashton as its new chair. Chris is
                                                 Director of Housing at East Midlands Housing Association. As this issue of East
                                                 Midlands Matters went to press Chris told us; " I'm honoured to have been asked to
                                                 lead the branch and with the support of the Branch Committee look forward to
                                                 another dynamic year of advancing the interests of the CIH and East Midlands
                                                 We hope to have more from Chris in the next issue of our next East Midlands

                                                                                                                     IF YOU HAVE A ISSUE T

Excellence under
one roof.
The East and West Midlands CIH branches have collaborated with
Midlands Excellence and the National Housing Federation to launch
an exciting and innovative new network for sharing best practice,
learning from other sectors and providing opportunities to
showcase excellence within the Midlands.
A capacity audience of 60 delegates attended the first                          The next Midlands Housing Excellence Network event takes
meeting of the network at BMW’s impressive engine plant at                      place at the BMW Plant, Hams Hall on May 16 with further
Hams Hall, near Birmingham. Success stories from the                            dates planned for 5/9/06 and 6/12/06. Any housing
housing and commercial sectors were presented by Bromford                       organisations wishing to take part should contact John Picken
Housing Group, Derwent Living and BMW                                           at the CIH on tel 024 7685 1732; fax 024 7669 5110; email
“The response to the sessions has been fantastic and the
feedback from the first session showed that CIH members are
determined to strive for excellence and the provision of this
exciting network certainly meets a need” said David
Greatorex, immediate past Chair of the CIH's East Midlands
The highlight of the session was a
presentation from Ceri Davies,
Business Strategy Manager from
BMW who stressed the importance
of how their leadership is involved
in reinforcing a culture of
Ian Nield, Chief Executive of
Midlands Excellence gave some
useful examples of the tools and
techniques used by private and
public sector companies to drive
continuous improvement within
their organisations.
Helena Moore from Bromford
Housing Group gave an
entertaining presentation that
focused on how they listen to,
involve and engage with customers
to deliver award winning
Julian Beaney from Derwent Living
ended the session with some
practical examples of how they
                                       l-r - Helen Collins, member of The Chartered Institute of Housing West Midlands branch committee ; Ian Nield, chief executive of
have successfully implemented
                                       Midlands Excellence; David Greatorex, immediate past Chairman of the East Midlands branch of The CIH; Helena Moore, head of
performance management and
                                       communications and business excellence at Bromford Housing Group; Julian Beaney, business improvement manager, Derwent Living.

                                                       Focus on               Leon Taylor
                                                                          England footballer and
                                                                       Tenancy Support Manager
                                                                                for Derby Homes
                                                                        What was the World Cup like?
                                                                        It took place over 2-3 weeks in October 2003 on a
                                                                        league basis with 13 teams from across the world
                                                                        entered. We came 8th which is pretty good when you
                                                                        consider that some countries operate their teams on a
                                                                        professional paid basis.

                                                                        Are you still involved with England?
                                                                        Yes we went to the World Cup in America in 2005 and
          What came first the football or Housing?                      are currently preparing for the European Championships
          I’ve always had an enjoyment of football but the              in July this year for which the training is currently taking
          Housing pays the bills and yes I enjoy that too!              up a lot of time.

          Before we get into the football how did you                   It sounds like a busy schedule. How do fit it
          get into Housing?                                             all in?
          There seem to be a lot of people in Housing with social       It wouldn’t be possible without the support and
          science degrees that don’t really qualify you for             understanding of my colleagues and Derby Homes as
          anything! I’m one of those people - I have a Politics         well as my family.
          degree. I didn’t come to Housing straight away but now
                                                                        What is your most memorable moment?
          I’ve been in it for 5 years I wouldn’t do anything else.
                                                                        There are number but getting my first England cap from
          What is your Housing role?                                    Sir Trevor Brooking, Director of Football Development at
          I lead a team of 11 providing cross tenure tenancy            the FA is the one that sticks out.
          support, which enables vulnerable people to maintain
                                                                        Can others get involved?
          their tenancies and help them to become independent.
          We’re funded from the Supporting people pot.                  Yes this is my real passion which cuts through my
                                                                        housing and football work. Its about helping people to
          Your biggest work challenge so far?                           get involved and fulfil their potential. If I can help in
          Marketing, promotion and establishment of the current         anyway just ring Derby Homes and ask for me.
          service over the last year. We’re now in a position where
          we are really making a difference to people’s lives. A
          growing issue now is that there is increasing uncertainty
          about the future of the Supporting People regime.

          So where does the football fit in?
          Whilst browsing the FA website (in my lunch hour) back
          in April 2003 I saw that there was a Cerebral Palsy team
          going out to the CP World Cup in Buenos Aires and that
          any potential players should get in touch. I did that, was
          invited to a training session in Cheshire and was selected
          - despite breaking my finger at that first session!

     Regional Assembly at work

                                      EAST MIDLANDS MATTERS IS EDITED BY BOB LEDGER
            IN TOUCH
 PLEASE GET Contact: 01283 595 775, e-mail:

           Recruiting into housing
           - the challenge ahead
           There is much talk about a recruitment crisis in                sectors, especially those working in customer facing roles
           Housing and so we asked recruitment specialist,                 in the private sector. Getting the right people with the
           Gurdeep Dosanjh, for his thoughts on how to tackle              right attitude and customer skills is essential – housing
           this problem.                                                   knowledge and experience can be gained within the role.
                                                                           Within my own organisation (Capita) we have developed a
           Housing organisations are facing increasing difficulties
                                                                           service called “Alternative Solution” which enables our
           recruiting and retaining good staff. This is not new, but it
                                                                           clients to recruit the ideal candidates who have the
           is a worrying trend and the housing profession needs to
                                                                           relevant transferable skills, in a volume recruitment
           look more closely at how it can attract high calibre
           talented people into the sector.
                                                                           Of course recruitment is only part of the story. It is
           Of course the image of the sector does not help to attract
                                                                           essential to have an effective induction programme and
           budding ‘high flyers’. Outside those in or linked directly to
                                                                           clear and readily accessible policies and procedures to
           housing there is limited understanding about the role of a
                                                                           guide new recruits. Advances in technology have made
           housing professional and the media portrayal of ‘public
                                                                           this much easier and examples of knowledge management
           sector’ housing and ‘public sector’ staff does little to
                                                                           systems and process mapping tools are becoming
           address this.
           But some housing organisations have begun to tackle this.
           Good employers are promoting housing careers, not just
           when a vacancy arises but as an on-going process. Starting
           in local schools, students learning about the work of
           housing organisations brings a double benefit, both as
           future employees and potential customers.
           We need to emphasise the positive aspects of our work. It
           is a people-focused, caring profession with the potential to
           enhance the quality of people’s lives. Housing is a key
           partner in regeneration and housing staff play a key role in
           the physical, economic and social renewal of the
           neighbourhoods where they work. There is a varied and
           rewarding careers choice for those entering the field with
           a wide spectrum of diverse roles and opportunities
           available. Increasingly staff are working in closer
           partnership with other main stakeholders and the
           traditional role of the ‘housing officer’ has become much
           more dynamic.
           Housing offers a wide range of benefits including
           competitive remuneration packages, good training                The Chartered Institute of Housing is currently consulting
           opportunities and secure employment. But it is also the         its branches on how it can best influence recruitment and
           challenging nature of much of the work that keeps it            retention into the housing sector. It already provides career
           interesting and rewarding - as any housing officer will tell    information, staff development and certified training but is
           you – no two days are the same!!                                looking to extend this with a range of careers promotion,
                                                                           support and dissemination of good practice. This is
           There has been a change in recruitment practices within         welcome news which will help promote a career in
           the sector in recent years. Organisations are now more          housing to the professionals of the future.
           likely to recruit for the right attitude and aptitude rather
           than experience in housing. This is a welcome trend as it       For more information on the issues discussed contact
           recognises the wealth of transferable potential in other        Gurdeep Dosanjh, Capita's regional manager, on
                                                                           0115 947 2558.

East Midlands CIH Branch
                                                                  After two years as Branch Chairman we asked David
                                                                  Greatorex to share his thoughts at the end of a busy
                                                                  and successful stint in office.
                                                                  Another year on but, unlike the song, fortunately, no
                                                                  deeper in debt. Well at least as far as the branch goes
                                                                  that is.
                                                                  I say fortunately but that is not really the case. It is a tribute
                                                                  to all of the branch committee, and in particular the branch
                                                                  treasurer who has ably kept me and the other committee
                                                                  members in line in trying to ensure we do not spend more
                                                                  than our budget. Please don’t think I am just singling the
                                                                  treasurer out for thanks. A big thanks goes to all committee
                                                                  members for their contributions during this past year, in
                                                                  whatever way they have been able to.
                                                                  I believe as a branch we have developed together over the
                                                                  year. As with any organisation, members have changed but
                                                                  it has been particularly pleasing to welcome several
                                                                  individuals who have approached us during the year asking
                                                                  to join the committee, bringing their own particular skills
                                                                  and interests. It is pleasing to see that they will continue to
                                                                  serve on the new committee recently elected .
The CIH National President, Barrington Billings, is a member of our branch and we have been honoured to have him present
at meetings and events when his diary has permitted. Some branch members were able to support his local presidential
dinner, at the National Space Centre in Leicester, and I am pleased to say that several local organisations have supported his
                                                                  Presidential Appeal, including a very successful branch quiz.
                                                                  This raised some £3000 for ‘CrisisShield’ to help rebuild
                                                                  homes in Grenada following the devastation caused by
                                                                  hurricane Ivan in September 2004.
   New CIH Membership                                             After what has been a very full year of meetings and events
                                                                  it is now time for me to hang up the chain of office – or
   Scheme - Flexible                                              perhaps more appropriately hang it (gently) round my
                                                                  successor’s neck. I am sure you will all join with me in
   Benefits for 2006                                              wishing Christine Ashton the very best of wishes for her
                                                                  term as Chair.
   For 2006 the CIH has introduced a new and
                                                                  Whilst obviously now taking a bit of a back seat I don’t
   improved membership package which allows
   members to top up their benefits by choosing from a            intend to leave the committee and will continue to support
   list of flexible benefits. These benefits can be chosen        the work of the branch in appropriate ways.
   to suit your own circumstances, so if you wish to              Talking of support to the committee, we are very fortunate
   benefit from discounts on CIH training courses and
                                                                  in being able to get the help of Branch Support Team at
   events, or CIH publications, or if you wish to access
   the professional indemnity insurance service, the              Coventry, and in particular Roy Greenwell who has provided
   choice is yours. The number of flexible benefit                invaluable support, advice and assistance when asked.
   entitlements depends on your grade of membership.              David J Greatorex
   To see the full list of flexible benefits and to select
                                                                  Branch Chair – 2005/2006
   your flexible benefits online just go to the Flexible
   Benefits Section of the members’ area of the
   website at and use the
   selection form to make your choice.
                      Contact: 01283 595 775, e-mail:

Regeneration                                                                 East Midlands Branch
                                                                             Committee 2006
                                                                             Portfolio Holders
East Midlands                                                                Chair:
                                                                             Chris Ashton, East Midlands HA
                                                                             Tel: 01530 276000

Following our guide in the last issue of East Midlands Matters
                                                                             Vice Chair:
                                                                             Julian Beaney, DerwentLiving
                                                                             Tel: 01332 614949
                                                                             Immediate Past Chair:
(downloadable from the CIH website) on the regional funding                  David Greatorex, Derby Homes
and regulation structure we look now at REM. Many of you will                Tel: 01332 711018
have seen their literature but what exactly are they about?
REM (Regeneration East Midlands) is one of nine regional centres for         Pauline Ford
excellence set up to promote best practice in regeneration and               Minister General HA
overcome barriers to the sustainable communities agenda. They                Tel: 01733 294304
provide support to those working in any aspect of regeneration and in        Email:
any location bringing together the skills and expertise from across the      Branch Secretary:
region and providing learning through networking, identifying best           David Coren, Kettering BC
practice, training, funding support and intelligence.                        Tel: 01536 534270
Membership of REM is free to all from the region and offers benefits         Policy Officer:
ranging from information about training through to access to the             Dez Tanser, EMRA
latest information on major regeneration projects in the region and          Tel: 0770 8475803
initiatives from the Academy for Sustainable Communities.                    Email:
                                                                             Regional Policy Officer:
Housing issues are at the core of REM’s agenda, ranging from the             Andy Fisher, Boston Borough Council
growth zone in Northamptonshire through to Coalfield regeneration            Tel: 01205 314554
programmes.                                                                  Email:
Established for just short of two years, REM combines the activities of      CIH President and Council Member:
                                                                             Barrington Billings, Glendon Property Services Limited
other agencies you may have come across:
                                                                             Tel: 08450 952020
Opun recognises the contribution that exceptional design, culture and        Email:
creativity bring to making places distinctive, allowing people to develop    Education Officer:
pride in the place where they live and work. Opun is one of a network        Beth Peakall
of architecture centres across the UK working to make a significant          Tel: 0845 2578607
contribution to the regeneration of the region and improve the built
environment.                                                                 Events Coordinator:
                                                                             Alan Haines
REM Skills works with organisations and individuals to provide advice,       Luminous Group
training and support to create successful and sustainable communities.       Tel: 01480 396623
They recognise that formal training may not always be the best               Email:
approach and offer mentoring, learning from others’ experience as            Council Member:
well as helping to strengthen colleague networks.                            Ken Bruno, KBRC
                                                                             Tel: 01327 314181
IEM (Intelligence East Midlands) seeks to identify information and           Email:
knowledge as a starting point for the issues facing the region and           Student Rep:
develops ways of addressing them. The IEM website is regularly               Kiran Singh
updated with the latest research news and reports including regular          Tel: 01332 840772
items on housing, planning and regeneration.                                 Email:
                                                                                                                                      Designed and produced by WARWICKS UK LTD Coventry

                                                                             Student Rep:
EMFF (East Midlands Funders Forum) promotes best practice and                Catherine Northern
enhances learning across charities, voluntary and not for profit
organisations by encouraging and supporting dialogue between
For further information on any of the organisations or services             STOP PRESS • STOP
provided by Regeneration East Midlands please visit;                                                        PRESS                                                A CIH Branch Event regarding Digital TV
                                                                               switchover will be held at Brook House,
                                                                               Huntingdon on 27th June 12.00 to 3.00 p.m.                                                                    For more details contact Alan Haines on
or contact REM on 0870 2404459                                                 01480 396623.