On the 19th and 20th November 2021, the Board were able to meet in person for the first time since the pandemic began in March 2020. It’s been such a long time and it was really good to finally work with people again face to face.
The morning started with a presentation by Ciaran Tully from the National Housing Federation, providing a “State of the Nation“ presentation looking at what is on the cards that will impact the housing sector. This included the Government’s Social Housing White Paper and what changes we expect to see introduced. This has been a long time coming, but hopefully we will see some progress in the New Year.
We talked about the progress made on the Corporate Plan, as we are half way through the current five-year plan, and it’s always a good idea to reflect and reassess at the half way point with any Corporate Plan. This is especially true given the last 18 months and the impact the pandemic has had, not only on Community Gateway, but the world. The Board were pleased to see good progress had been made and were really happy with the level of support provided to our customers and communities throughout the pandemic.
It was so important that the day also provided us with the opportunity to talk about investing in our homes in the future, including the quality of existing homes and regeneration of our estates.
The Board made it clear that we need to continue to build good quality homes with space for people to live comfortably, but also to start to plan for new types of homes that enable us to improve the environment for us all and more importantly future generations.
The Carbon Neutral Agenda is something the Government expects all Housing Associations and Councils to have right at the top of their list of priorities. This is a worldwide issue, and we need to be thinking about how as a Housing Association we can plan ahead in order to improve our homes and neighbourhoods to achieve the target of being carbon neutral by 2050. This seems like a long way off, however, changes need to start being made and planned now if we are to achieve this. The Board agreed that everybody has a part to play in this and we will make sure that you, our tenants and customers, are kept well informed and understand just what this means for you and why it’s so important that you support us with any changes and help us to achieve this target. Your voice will be invaluable in helping us to shape the plans we make to get to where we need to be.
We have been working with a company called “Adecoe”, who gave us a really interesting presentation, highlighting the challenges in achieving Carbon Neutral for Housing Associations but also looking at how we could think about solving these issues. Nobody has got all the answers as to how to make the world a greener and a safer environment for us all and our children’s children. But we have to make a start and as an organisation and a Board, we all agreed it’s our duty to do what we can, with the Board agreeing to develop a Carbon Neutral Strategy.
David Yates - Board Chair