Dec 10, 2019 Last Updated 10:52 AM, Aug 14, 2019

Housing 2019 addresses industry challenges

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Thousands of housing professionals will gather in Manchester this month for Housing 2019, the Chartered Institute of Housing’s (CIH) annual conference and exhibition.

The event – Europe’s biggest housing festival – features hundreds of high-profile speakers. It aims to give people from across the sector the chance to debate the biggest challenges we’re facing now and in the future – and come up with solutions together.

Key themes for this year include:

• Post-Brexit Britain and the economic outlook

• Better design for better places

• Technology

• Communities, placemaking and housing the next generation

• Rethinking allocations

• Homelessness

• Housing the ageing population

• The impact of welfare reform

• What next for universal credit

The event, which takes place at Manchester Central from 25 to 27 June, features more than 400 speakers. Communities Secretary James Brokenshire, Housing Minister Kit Malthouse and Employment Minister Alok Sharma will give the view from Government, and the programme also includes Homes England Chief Executive Nick Walkley, Shadow Housing Minister John Healey and former Labour leader Ed Miliband.

Architect and TV Presenter George Clarke, RIBA President Ben Derbyshire, RTPI Chief Executive Victoria Hills and TCPA Chief Executive Fiona Howie are all on the bill, while Jo Loughran, Director at Time to Change, James Kelly, Head of Cities at Uber, Dr Nicola Millard, Head of Customer Insight and Futures at BT, and Google’s Ed Parsons will be providing their perspectives from outside the sector.

The exhibition – which is free to attend for anyone registered as a visitor – features more than 300 leading suppliers. Beyond the main conference programme, there’s plenty of free content for visitors, including networking workshops, seminars and masterclasses dedicated to modern methods of construction. TECH@Housing focuses on digital transformation and customer experience while the Fringe aims to challenge the industry, with topics up for discussion including tower block fire safety, breaking down stigma, and building an inclusive and diverse workforce. The Homelessness Hackathon, in partnership with FutureGov, will challenge participants to collaborate and design new solutions to tackle homelessness, while PfH (Procurement for Housing) Live returns to run alongside Housing 2019.

For up-and-coming housing professionals, CIH Futures have designed a special Delegate of the Future programme for the final day of the conference, which is free to attend for anyone who hasn’t attended Housing previously.

This year’s event will also feature the launch of Close to home: housing and communities, a new current affairs-style film created by CIH and ITN Productions. Presented by National Newsreader Natasha Kaplinsky, the programme will explore the issues surrounding the ongoing housing crisis in the UK, highlight the innovative approaches being taken by councils and housing associations to provide homes and support people and champion the vital role of CIH in driving standards and skills within the housing sector.

CIH Chief Executive, Terrie Alafat CBE, said: “Ultimately, we must remember how privileged we are to work in a profession where we have a chance to make a real difference to people and communities all over the UK every single day of our working lives. And that is what Housing 2019 is all about – it’s a fantastic opportunity for us to come together to learn, debate, share ideas and challenge each other to be better.”

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