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14 June 2019

New appointments announced to strengthen policy and external affairs team

We are pleased to confirm the appointment of two Heads of Policy and External Affairs at Community Housing Cymru.

With two decades of external affairs experience between them, Aaron Hill, Public Affairs Manager at CHC, and Rhea Stevens, Policy, Projects and External Affairs Manager at the Institute of Welsh Affairs will strengthen our lobbying function, enabling the team to influence housing policy at the highest level across Wales and the UK.

Their roles will focus on building UK wide strategic partnerships to position the valuable role social housing plays in solving the housing crisis and creating strong and sustainable communities. The new positons will support housing associations in Wales to build 75,000 homes by 2036, and create a Wales where good housing is a basic right for all.

During his time at CHC, Aaron has led two teams, working on developing policy and building the sector’s reputation with politicians, civil servants and stakeholders.

He has led our work on the Independent Review of Affordable Housing Supply in Wales, in addition to leading successful campaigns including Homes for Wales and Let’s Keep on Supporting People. Prior to this, he has worked for organisations including the Learning and Work Institute and the Welsh NHS Confederation.

The former Chair of Public Affairs Cymru said:

“Housing associations make a positive difference to thousands of lives in Wales every day, and they have an ambition to do so much more. I can’t wait to get on with the job of building the partnerships we need to deliver our vision of a Wales where good housing is a basic right for all.”

Complementing Aaron’s expertise, Rhea leads the IWA’s research and project portfolio, in addition to editing click on wales and the welsh agenda, the institute’s highly influential publications. Previously Rhea worked in high profile campaigns and policy roles, specialising in children’s and social care policy. She has also worked frontline as a Social Work Assistant, and for a children’s charity in Russia.

Rhea explained why the new role excites her:

“Affordable, good quality housing is an essential ingredient for fair, healthy, and prosperous communities in Wales. I’ve seen first-hand the difference housing associations make to people’s lives, and I am excited to be able to play a part in helping Community Housing Cymru and its members solve the housing crisis in Wales.”

Clarissa Corbisiero, Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Policy and External Affairs added:

“Housing associations in Wales have big ambitions to play their part to solve the housing in Wales. I am delighted that Aaron and Rhea are joining our wider team to support housing associations and make those ambitions a reality by adding real strength and talent to our policy making and campaigning work.”

Our current work includes influencing the implementation of the Independent Review of Affordable Housing Supply in Wales, lobbying for changes to the Universal Credit policy; working with Welsh Government to assess and improve building and fire safety regulations, and working with partners and Welsh Government to create the conditions for housing associations to meet zero carbon standards.