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CIH Cymru – A climate for housing

Matt Dicks previews the return of TAI as an in-person conference.

Next week (26 and 27 April) TAI, Wales’s biggest housing conference, will return in person at the new exhibition and conference centre in Swansea.

The strapline for TAI 2022 is A Climate for Housing – both in terms of housing’s centrality in the bid to tackle head on the climate and nature emergencies but also housing, building new homes, and retrofitting existing ones, as a central part of the economic recovery, as we ‘build back better’ and ‘level up’.

There are huge challenges ahead for us as housing professional, nor least the cost of living crisis, inflation, and huge pressures on our supply chains.

But there are also huge opportunities – Wales can lead the way on the decarbonisation of housing, on tackling homeless and ending homelessness. And with the announcement in the Labour/Plaid Cymru cooperation agreement to bring forward a White Paper on incorporation of a Right to Adequate Housing into Welsh law, we could see a sea change in the way housing is viewed from a public policy perspective.

So at CIH Cymru we have developed a programme that we believe will share all the latest good practice and learning that will help support you, housing professionals, understand how we better deliver on our shared ambitions with Welsh Government in the context of what is fast-developing into one of the tightest fiscal landscapes that we have seen in our lifetimes.

Those fiscal constraints must not, and cannot, dilute the ambition, collaboration and innovation that we, as a housing sector in Wales, are very capable of delivering.

So, a key addition at TAI this year – we have always run a development seminar alongside the main programme but this year, for the first time, we  will run a retrofit seminar alongside the main programme on the second day of the conference, aiming to provide a space to share our collective learning.

We also have sessions on ending homelessness, regulation, building safety, net-zero skills, the economic landscape as well as a keynote address from the minister for climate change, Julie James MS.

We also have the view from the frontline with new research from our Housing Futures Cymru group, as well as sessions with political commentator Iain Dale to give us the latest on what’s going on at Westminster, and ITV Wales weather presenter Ruth Dodsworth, who has agreed to share her inspirational story about how she confronted and defeated domestic abuse.

But the biggest change is that TAI is now free and exclusive to our CIH membership – as are all CIH events and masterclasses. We’ve done this because we want to hardwire our core purpose back into the soul of the sector – CIH as the home of professionalism and professional excellence, the CIH professional standards as a kitemark of competence that provides assurance to tenants, to board members, to government and beyond.

To do that, we need to be the best membership body we can be. And the sharing of good practice, knowledge, sound ethics and behaviours has to be the base of any progressive, impactful profession. Providing opportunities for our members to absorb the learning they need in order to achieve that standard, has to be our focus as an organisation – and hence this new membership offer.

Linked inextricably to that is our new Professional Standards Framework. The seven key characteristics that we, in partnership with the sector across the UK, have defined as the key drivers of professionalism and a universal professional standard.

We hope that TAI 2022 will kick-start our conversation with you to ensure that together we realise the potential that a unified standard of professionalism can provide in terms of raising our profile as a profession and supporting all of us to have a bigger impact when it comes to policy decision-making and allocation of public funds.

We have a specific session on professionalism on the programme so please come and join the CIH family at TAI 2022 – to book visit www.cih.org/events/tai-2022

Matt Dicks is director of CIH Cymru


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