Housing providers encouraged to be bold

Speaking passionately at a stakeholder event organised and hosted by Gravesend Churches Housing Association, David Orr, Chief Executive at the National Housing Federation, has called on housing associations to be risk aware but not risk averse.

Addressing the audience, he stressed that small organisations need to work in partnership to meet the challenge of the shortage of homes.

David said that Housing Association Boards must be bold and made reference to the fact we never hit housing targets in the UK, unlike countries such as Finland.

Those attending the event, which also served as the AGM of GCHA, included representatives from partnering housing associations BECHA and Optivo, domestic abuse specialist Choices, facilities management organisation GFM and Kent Association for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus (Kasbah), as well as GCHA Board members and staff.

Everyone was welcomed by GCHA Chair Steve Harriott, followed by a brief presentation from GCHA Chief Executive Joe Scullion. David Orr then spoke, finishing with questions from the floor.

Steve Harriot said: “This was our first annual meeting for some time and it was a great opportunity to share the fantastic work of GCHA with our partners, stakeholders and staff. GCHA’s new strategic plan sees a renewed focus on GCHA providing excellent services to existing tenants and providing more homes for people in need.”

Echoing Steve’s reaction, Joe Scullion added: “We are delighted that so many of our key partners could join us at the launch of our 3 year strategic plan. We look forward to working closely with them to deliver new homes and great services to our customers.”

David Orr was awarded a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list this year and has been CEO at National Housing Federation for the past 12 years. During this time, he has championed the ambitions of housing associations and highlighted the critical role they play in tackling the housing crisis.