From the Chief Executive – Welcome!

Picture of Stuart Ropke

It’s been a long time coming but I’m delighted to be blogging in preparation for the online re-launch of Cartref, our magazine.

Transitioning to an online platform means the content will be bang up to date and we can talk about the issues that matter for our members when they matter. We also want to encourage our members and partners to use this platform so please get in touch if there’s a burning issue you’d like to blog about!

2016 was an incredibly busy year for Community Housing Cymru. We ended the year with our most successful Annual Conference ever at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, and it’s safe to say that the opening two months of 2017 have been a whirlwind too.

Picture of Annual Conference 2016

Building on the success of the Annual Conference, we’ve relaunched our programme of events and conferences. You’ll find more detail on our website but, in short, after listening to our members we’ve added a series of new events and refreshed a number of old favourites. I’m delighted that we already have a record number of delegates booked to attend our Governance Conference on Thursday/Friday of this week.

Governance is set to be an issue right at the top of the priority list for the sector in 2017. As the Regulatory Board launches its thematic review of governance across the sector, we’ll be using the opportunity to review our Code of Governance in tandem. We’re also waiting to hear about the recommendations the Public Accounts Committee may have around regulation and the other issues they have been investigating in their inquiry into regulation of the sector in Wales.

Our lobbying work is focusing on Local Housing Allowance, its application in the social housing sector and implications for the future of supported housing. We’ve had great feedback from members on our project plan and you can expect to see further news on this and opportunities to get involved in our work very soon.

Of course, reversing the reclassification of housing associations as public bodies for the purposes of the national accounts is also a key piece of work and we continue to make good progress on this issue, working closely with Welsh Government. It’s been a great example of CHC using the skills and experience that we have within the organisation as well as taking professional advice where appropriate to keep the pressure on and drive the agenda forward.

Finally from me, our Housing Horizons project will shortly take a huge step forward as we commission research to help us look at what the world might look like in 20 years’ time and what this means for housing associations. Again, this is a project that is going to rely on input from our members and other partners, and we’re especially keen to get the views of a range of people who don’t usually interact with CHC.

Thanks for reading – I hope you enjoy this new resource!

Stuart Ropke
– Chief Executive, CHC