The new president of the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH), Jo Richardson, has unveiled a campaign to explore “housing-led” approaches to homelessness.
The Homeful campaign, launched today, will include what the CIH called “the UK’s largest co-produced action research project” gathering evidence from people who have experienced homelessness, housing providers, homeless organisations, partner agencies, charities and housing residents across the country.
It will offer an opportunity to reflect on homelessness responses during the coronavirus pandemic and what more needs to be done to tackle the issue, the CIH said.
Ms Richardson said: “I’m excited to be taking up the CIH presidential mantle today from Aileen Evans who has run a brilliant campaign highlighting mental health and well-being during her time in office.
“I’ve been a member of the CIH for over 25 years. It’s an organisation that I’ve worked for, worked with, and learned from during my housing career.
“I’m honoured to be able to serve the CIH membership in the role of president and I’m looking forward to bringing the Homeful campaign to life.”
Alongside the campaign, the CIH has published a report which considers the lessons learned during the pandemic where national and local government and other organisations supported people experiencing homelessness through the ‘Everyone In’ scheme.
Gavin Smart, chief executive of the CIH, said: “The Homeful campaign will be our opportunity to highlight good practice, share learning widely and embed some of the lessons we learned during the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s our opportunity to work together to end homelessness for good.”
The Homeful campaign will run for the duration of Ms Richardson’s presidency, from July 2021 to December 2022.
Over the next 18 months, in addition to completing research, she will also be fundraising for her chosen presidential charity, End Youth Homelessness.
Nick Connolly, managing director of End Youth Homelessness, said: “End Youth Homelessness is all about practical impact; testing new ideas, sharing our learning, and scaling what works.
“Jo’s Homeful campaign chimes with this philosophy and we’re looking forward to collaborating with Jo and her team to help bring the specific needs of homeless young people into the wider debate about homeless services.”