Speaking at Housing 2014, CIH’s annual conference and exhibition in Manchester today (Thursday 26 June), Steve Stride urged the industry to make the most of its potential to tackle the housing crisis – and called for “a new urgency” from central and local government.
Mr Stride, who is chief executive of Poplar HARCA, said the government needs to take brave decisions including playing a more direct and active role in house building, exerting control over mortgage market regulation and treating housing as national infrastructure.
He added: “The role that CIH members play in the next few years will determine the housing outcomes for a generation. We have a unique opportunity to learn lessons from the past and structure a new housing offer, one that is equitable, one that offers real choice for all and one that supports every household, irrespective of background, age or income.
“Not all solutions come from government - not everything requires the public purse. Professionals too must not shirk from the challenge. We need a new urgency from central and local government - a recognition that it too has a responsibility to ensure that we tackle the causes and consequences of the crisis. However, it is not just government that needs to do more.”
Mr Stride called on the industry to:
• Resist the temptation to drop standards
• Build a culture of innovation
• Respond to the changing needs of the people it houses with a more varied offer
• Think differently about how to retain talent to get away from a boom and bust cycle
“Our professional commitment, values and principles demand that we rise to the challenge and demand that others do the same. I know, together we have the confidence and skills to make the difference. The better we are at our jobs, the better the outcomes for residents and customers, communities and neighbourhoods and the UK as a whole. We are as important to our societal and economic wellbeing as every nurse, every teacher and every doctor.”