Gemma's blog on the Housing 2023 conference
Last month, colleagues from across the Group attended the Chartered Institute of Housing conference, @housing23.
Gemma Smith, our Director of Business Assurance, reflects on her experience and the main takeaways.
I've worked in the housing sector for a number of years and have heard so much about the CIH conference that I decided to attend this year. It was great to see so many housing professionals under one roof, with opportunities to expand our knowledge, network and see new and innovative products in operation. The scale of the conference was incredible!
I attended sessions on business innovation, data, building safety and tenant engagement (to name just a few). The presenters were excellent – not just knowledgeable, but passionate and able to speak about topics from their perspective. I particularly enjoyed listening to the views of tenants and tenant board members. And as always, the regulator gave us their perspective on some of the current risks and challenges.
I was joined at the conference by colleagues from Development and Property Services, who gave me their key takeaways:
- Contractors and consultants are reporting that construction costs are now starting to settle, and more contractors are willing to tender for work.
- However, that position is somewhat balanced by an increase in the number of contractors seeking inflation clauses to cover cost increases.
- Some Registered Providers (registered providers of social housing) have suffered from a small number of developers/contractors entering receivership.
- It was really beneficial to see some of the up-and-coming products coming to the market that will tackle issues a lot of social housing associations are having to deal with.
From networking with other Registered Providers, the team noted the most common questions and challenges:
- If the housing market slows in terms of outright sale, what will the impact be for Registered Providers?
- Will affordable development be supported to a greater extent in order to keep the economy active?
- How will the current mortgage market impact on the Shared Ownership product, particularly with some buyers no longer being able to secure a suitable level of mortgage lending to acquire 100% equity, or not being able to afford the mortgage costs for 100% equity given interest rate movements.
So it was a big thumbs up from us all at Progress Housing Group.
We're already looking forward to next year's conference!