CIH chief: ‘We cannot work in silos’

Terrie Alafat urges further collaboration over challenges to housing and homelessness.

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CIH chief Terri Alafat CBE chose her Public Sector Solutions Expo address to reinforce calls for cross-sector collaboration.

Alafat told delegates that “ideally” local homelessness strategies should be co-produced with housing associations.

“We shouldn’t work in silo, we need to recognise that we can’t solve problems alone – we need to work together,” Alafat said.

Alafat’s urging of collaboration coincided with CIH releasing a report revealing home-owners receive more government subsidy than social housing tenants.

To Alafat, that demonstrated a need to move the concept of collaboration up to Westminster and a central government working with housing associations on a “comprehensive look” at support for the housing system.

“Currently, just 21% of government investment is going to affordable housing, rebalancing this budget to support people on lower incomes who can’t afford to buy could make a big difference.

“It is vital that the government supports councils and housing associations to build more homes for social rent,” she said.

Wales is already ahead of this concept.

As reported by 24housing, Welsh Housing Minister Rebecca Evans to the CHC conference last week that partnerships between housing associations and councils are key for the future.

In her address, Evans cited the lifting of the borrowing cap as a reason for greater collaboration, saying she’d been “struck” by the commitment she had seen from the sector to work in collaboration.

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