HQN blog: Review over – time for action!

Two weeks since Lynn Pamment released her review and recommendations and we’re anxiously waiting to find out how government will react.

The mood music from minister Julie James has been positive. She made clear at TAI in May that she welcomed the review and would be responding in due course. She dropped a major hint, though, about which parts appealed more to her: building many more council and housing association homes, she said unambiguously, was her number one priority.

I’m sure that won’t mean abandoning other priorities such as affordability, carbon reduction and all the added value government increasingly expects from the sector. But there will inevitably be trade-offs and compromises and, if we get this right, a new impetus for partnership working. This will be the key theme at HQN Cymru’s Annual Summit on 12th June in Cardiff

HQN Chief Executive Alistair McIntosh will set the scene for the day with an overview of another significant year of change and challenges and consider what this means for the future of the sector.

Lynn Pamment will tell us where things are at in a fast-changing housing landscape; what we can expect next and when.

Ian Williams, Deputy Director Homes and Places in Welsh Government, will lay out their agenda at a time when we all have to up our game to deliver more affordable housing. He will reinforce the partnership challenges laid down by the Minister and highlighted in the review.

A cross-sector panel of leaders will take up this challenge. We will hear from Cllr Andrea Lewis, Deputy Housing spokesperson WLGA, Clarissa Corbisiero, Deputy Chief Executive CHC, and Clare Budden, Chief Executive of Clwyd Alyn Housing Association, including their thoughts on squaring the rents, standards, affordability and value for money circle.

A cause for optimism is the raft of new young ‘homegrown’ leaders coming to the fore in Wales. We will hear from a few of them on why the housing sector is the place to be if you want to change the world. Our panel includes Katie Howells, of Merthyr Valleys Homes, 24housing’s current Young Leader of the Year; Victoria Slade, incoming Chief Executive, Cynon Taff Housing Group; and Cheryl Tracy, Head of Business Evolution at Monmouthshire Housing.

Steve Cook, Interim Chief Executive Cynon Taff Housing Group and former interim at Cardiff Community Housing Association, will give his take on the main risks the sector faces and what we need to do to respond.

Finally, we will bring together a panel of experts to consider the question: where next for tenant engagement? now that it has jumped to the top of the Regulator’s agenda.

We will hear from Alistair McIntosh, Bob Smith of the Regulatory Advisory Board who is chairing the review, Fran Bevan from Merthyr Valleys Homes / Cynon Taf Housing Group, and Tamsin Stirling, independent Consultant and adviser to the review.

So, come along and join us: it’s time for action!

By Keith Edwards, Lead Associate HQN Cymru 

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To book your place at The HQN Cymru housing summit 2019, please click here.