Homes at the Heart campaign

Jun 25, 2020

The Centre for Excellence in Community Investment supports the Homes at the Heart campaign that has been launched today.

 Dear Chancellor 

Put homes at the heart of recovery 

We are writing to urge you to put good quality, affordable housing at the heart of your plans for social and economic recovery from the coronavirus crisis. 

This pandemic has transformed our relationship with our homes. For some, home has been a sanctuary from a dangerous and unpredictable virus. Home has become their office, a classroom, a gym or a place of worship. But for countless others, the place they have spent lockdown has felt like a prison – housing that is far too small, too expensive, of poor quality or isolated from the support that would help them to live well. 

The coronavirus crisis is further highlighting the need for secure, high quality, better designed affordable homes and, for many people, support to live in them. Not least for many of the people most affected by this crisis – low-paid key workers living in homes they can’t afford, rough sleepers helped off the streets, homeless families in temporary accommodation, older people in unsupported homes, and families stuck in overcrowded conditions. 

Without action, we are likely to see many people’s housing situations get much worse in the weeks, months and years ahead, as the economic impacts of the crisis are felt across the country. 

In times of crisis, the worth of social housing is ever more visible and to so many of the challenges that lie ahead, social housing is the answer. The social housing sector stands ready to play a major role in shoring up the future of the country. 

 Public investment in all types of new and existing social housing gives more back to the economy than it takes. 

 Building and improving social homes, including delivering on the decarbonisation agenda, creates jobs, kick-starts growth and brings huge environmental benefits. 

 Investing in supporting people to live well in their social homes improves health and wellbeing, and drives cost savings for the NHS. 

 Social housing is at the centre of thriving communities. 

That is why we support the Homes at the Heart campaign. 

As you develop and deliver plans to get the country back on track, we are calling on the government to put social homes at the heart of recovery – as a driver of economic and social prosperity, and an anchor for strong communities. 

Campaign partners 

John Bibby, CEO, ARCH (Association of Retained Council Housing) 

Gavin Smart, Chief Executive, Chartered Institute of Housing 

Jon Sparkes, Chief Executive, Crisis 

Eamon McGoldrick, Managing Director, National Federation of ALMOs 

Kate Henderson, Chief Executive, National Housing Federation 

Campaign supporters 

Paul O’Brien, Chief Executive, Association for Public Service Excellence APSE 

Michael Voges, Executive Director, ARCO 

Robert Evans, Partner, Argent 

Cym D’Souza, Chair, BME National 

Melanie Leech, Chief Executive, British Property Federation 

Tina Barnard, Chair, Build East 

Robin Fieth, Chief Executive, Building Societies Association 

James Tickell, Partner, Campbell Tickell 

Sue Adams, CEO, Care & Repair England 

Helen Walker, Chief Executive, Carers UK 

Robert Sugden, Centre for Excellence in Community Investment 

Neil McInroy, Chief Executive, Centre for Local Economic Strategies 

Matthew Bolton, Executive Director, Citizens UK 

Elizabeth Austerberry, Chair, Consortium of Associations in the South East 

Lynsey Sweeney, Managing Director, Communities that Work 

Neal Lawson, Executive Director, Compass 

Crispin Truman OBE, Chief Executive, CPRE The countryside charity 

Sue Morgan, Director of Architecture and Built Environment, Design Council 

Andrew Cowan, Partner and Head of Social Housing, Devonshires 

Brian Berry, Chief Executive, Federation of Master Builders 

Nicola Mathers, CEO, Future of London 

Helen Evans, Chair, G15 

Chris Fletcher, Policy Director, Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce 

Jon Lord, Chair, Greater Manchester Housing Providers 

Paul Faulkner, CEO, Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce 

Andrew van Doorn, Chief Executive, HACT 

Rick Henderson, Chief Executive, Homeless Link 

David Bogle, Chair, Homes for Cathy 

Nigel Wilson, Chair, Homes for the North 

Victor da Cunha, Chair, Homes for the South West 

Jeremy Porteus, Chief Executive, Housing LIN 

Chris Ireland, UK CEO, JLL 

Helen Barnard, Acting Director, Joseph Rowntree Foundation 

Bronwen Rapley, Chair, Liverpool City Region Housing Associations Group 

Jonathan Werran, Chief Executive, Localis 

Dave Evans, Interim CEO, National Energy Foundation 

Stuart Heslop, Managing Director UK Housing Finance, NatWest 

The Hon. James Ramsbotham CBE DL, Chief Executive, North East England Chamber of Commerce 

Tracy Harrison, Chief Executive, Northern Housing Consortium 

Matthew Walker, Chair, Placeshapers 

Finn Williams, Chief Executive, Public Practice 

Maurice Wren, CEO, Refugee Council 

Prof. Alan M Jones, President, Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) 

Victoria Hills, Chief Executive, The Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) 

Ursula Bennion, Chair, Rural Housing Alliance 

Dan Paskins, Director of UK Impact, Save the Children UK 

Martin Lund, Chair, See the Person 

Polly Neate, Chief Executive, Shelter 

Paul Hackett, Director, The Smith Institute 

Fiona Howie, Chief Executive, Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA) 

Jenny Osbourne, Chief Executive, Tpas – The tenant engagement experts 

Kevin Rodgers, Chair, West Midlands Housing Association Partnership 

Rick Willmott, Group Chief Executive, Willmott Dixon 

Nick Gallent, Professor of Housing and Planning, Bartlett School of Planning, UCL (in a personal capacity) 

Yvonne Rydin, Professor of Planning, Environment and Public Policy, Bartlett School of Planning, UCL (in a personal capacity) 

Dave Prentis, General Secretary, UNISON 

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