‘Start now and try to move as fast as you can’ - CIH boss Gavin Smart gives his advice for the next government on housing

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The chief executive speaks to Carl Brown about his thoughts on the manifestos, how we boost the financial capacity of social landlords, mandatory qualifications and the new Housing Community Summit in Liverpool

Gavin Smart reckons housing is having a good election. The Chartered Institute of Housing boss, speaking to Housing Today just over a fortnight before polling day, says housing appears to be high up the list of parties’ and voters’ election priorities.

“Every manifesto says something about housing - not every sector is able to say that,” says Smart, with a smile.

Furthermore, Smart, who emphasises the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) is not party political, sees a high degree of consensus among the main parties around some of the big challenges facing the sector.

“If you read across the majority of the manifestos I think you will see a general agreement that we have got issues with housing supply, that we are not doing enough and a crucial part of increasing that supply is affordable housing, including housing let at social rents,” he says.

“There is a recognition in the majority, but not all, of the manifestos that there is a strong relationship [between housing supply] and social security and the welfare settlement and I think it is also true to say planning reform is really important [to the parties]”.

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