On 7th June 2017 Civitas announced a partnership with the national homelessness charity Crisis to support the “Renting Ready” programme across the UK. Renting Ready is a real world practical programme to help homeless people successfully transition into quality rented private sector accommodation.
The focus on the private rented sector is itself a practical reflection on the shortage of all types of social housing in many parts of the country. Through its investment activity Civitas seeks to promote the creation of additional social homes in England and Wales within the regulated sector.
More details of the partnership are contained in the press releases in the Media Centre.
On 24 November 2017 Civitas announced a partnership with the Choir with No Name initially to sponsor its “Big Christmas Singalong” event in Brighton in December 2017 and thereafter to support the Choir with No Name across various locations. The event on December 15 was a huge success and Civitas is delighted to support such an excellent cause. To read more about the event, and CWNN, you can download the programme by clicking the logo above.
The Choir with No Name works with homeless and disadvantaged people and was founded on the premise that singing and taking part in group activities helps to build skills and confidence for the future. From an initial choir in North London in 2008, the Choir with No Name has expanded to Birmingham, South London and Liverpool.
Civitas Social Housing at CIH Housing 2018
Civitas Social Housing played a central role at this year’s Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) annual conference and exhibition – Housing 2018. The event, held in Manchester, is Europe’s largest housing festival and CIH’s annual conference attracting 1,400 Registered Providers, and over 11,000 attendees across the three days. The event saw 300 exhibitors and 50 sponsors within the event arena.
In conjunction with the conference, CIH hosts a ‘Fringe’ which is designed to be a less formal arena for debate and interaction amongst the audience on key topics within Housing. Civitas were one of the sponsors of the Fringe 2018, hosting two sessions and a stand within the Fringe arena. Civitas were also invited to Chair a further debate on ‘Building Out Homelessness’ as part of the main conference programme.
Civitas at Housing 2018’s Fringe Festival
The Fringe sessions, with their intentionally informal style provided a forum for wide-ranging debates and exchanging of ideas with a busy audience.
Tuesday 26th June
As part of this effort, Paul interviewed David Smith, Economics Editor of The Sunday Times, in a ‘Desert Island Discs’ style session. The three tracks David chose were: Bad Moon Rising by Creedence Clearwater Revival; ELO’s Mr Bluesky, and Homeward Bound by Simon and Garfunkel.
Wednesday 27th June
Civitas hosted a further Fringe session joined by Kate Farrell (Crisis), titled:
‘Homelessness: here’s 50 homes – how would you fill them?’
The premise of the Fringe event was, ‘If the housing supply was made available, what other barriers are there to ending homelessness?’
The lively discussion included audience contributions from Crisis, Centrepoint, Stockport Homes and Wigan Housing, and Greater Manchester Combined Authority.
The session attracted an international audience, with a New Zealand housing association delegate highlighting the similarities between the two countries in the use of the Housing First approach to tackling homelessness.
A key theme discussed was the need to engage more health professionals in the delivery of supported housing, and to have the right support networks in order to deliver person-centred services.
Kate Farrell, the newly-appointed Strategic Lead on Homelessness for Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, joined Paul for a debate on the issues around allocating specialised supported housing and homes for homeless people.
Paul, CEO of Civitas Housing Advisors hosted two Fringe Sessions at Housing 2018.
Thursday 28th June – Dinner
During conference week, Civitas hosted the first ‘Partners’ Dinner’ at Wood restaurant in Manchester city centre to launch the inaugural:
Civitas Community Prize
The Civitas Community Prize looks to support local community projects that would benefit from the £5,000 award funds to inject into the nominated project.
Civitas appointed a panel of independent judges, they were Ian Burgess, Group MD at Fairhome; Stuart Macdonald, Managing Director of See Media; and Steve Douglas, Partner at Altair Consultancy and Advisory Services.
Several attendees described very worthy causes ranging from supporting the training of young people, to creating bespoke accommodation to residents with particular needs, it was very hard to pick but the panel of independent judges awards the prize to:
Proposed by Colin Mackell of Chrysalis Housing Association, Opoka is a charity that supports Polish victims of domestic abuse in the UK and helps to stop perpetrators from committing future abuse.
Colin Mackell, Chrysalis, pictured winning his award for Opoka alongside the panel of judges and Paul Bridge, CEO, Civitas Housing Advisors
Mark Adams of Harbour Light Assisted Living described how his organisation is supporting a community centre for Women living with cancer.
Thursday 27th June
In the main conference, Civitas led a seminar looking at ‘Building Out Homelessness’.
Paul Bridge chaired a discussion with Sarah Rowe, Senior Policy Officer at Crisis, and Ron Beattie Managing Director of Beattie Passive.
As part of the conference, Crisis launched its new initiative ‘Everybody In’ which looks at long-term solutions to ending homelessness in Great Britain – including the need to produce 100,500 new homes for social housing, every year for the next 15 years.
It also promotes the initiative ‘Housing First’ for homeless people requiring specialist support. This sees people housed and support services then built around them.
Beattie Passive has a facility for off-site manufacture of Passivhaus homes, which require minimal heating systems. Ron also highlighted Beattie’s ‘Flying Factory’ scheme, where factories to produce passivhaus homes can be built on site and operational in a matter of days.
The audience included key housing providers, such as Tony Stacey from South Yorkshire Housing Association.
An important question was how housing associations can help reduce homelessness – which opened a debate around the availability of homes, and the revenue commitment that would be needed.