The Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) CEO, Gavin Smart, has used his keynote speech to call on government to do more on the cost of living crisis.

Smart said that if the benefit cap is not increased or removed completely then the “affordability gap will increase”.

He added that the organisation is also calling on government to abolish the bedroom tax, and is seeking increases to Local Housing Allowance levels.

He added that inflation potentially reaching 11% next year will mean big decisions for business plans, adding that “we need to think hard about what the right action is”.

Smart also spoke about the disrepair cases that have been featured on social media and national news.

He called for “collective action” to turn the tide against collective reputational damage and urged providers and councils to “bring our homes up to the standard we want for our residents”.

Referencing the independent review set up with the National Housing Federation, Smart said that the sector “must not wait” for the panel’s recommendations before taking action.

Also in the speech, the CIH CEO said the recent announcement on Right to Buy must not come at the expense of the social housing sector and welcomed the commitment from Housing Secretary Michael Gove that funding for the scheme will not come out of the Affordable Homes Programme.