Our AGM was held on Tuesday 26 June 2012 at the former Mersey Street PS, Belfast where NIFHA’s guest speaker, Michael Copeland MLA, stressed the importance of close community and good housing in facing today’s challenges.
He linked education and housing, particularly apt given the venue, as they both contribute to creating a sense of place and belonging. He went on to comment that developing social cohesion is important in these hard pressed times and housing policy must address this new realism but must also aim to support stable communities in which residents feel they have a stake.
Cameron Watt (pictured above right), who was recently appointed NIFHA’s Chief Executive, in his first address commented on how NIFHA and the movement are both going through a period of huge uncertainty and change. He said:
“I believe housing associations are building from strong foundations but in these unprecedented times can we remain fit for purpose? Well we must.
“There is a huge need for housing associations and this need is only going to increase.”
Cameron went on to highlight the main thrust of his vision for a way forward drawing them into three areas:
- Lobbying and Influencing;
- Positively promoting the work of housing associations; and
- Providing high quality services to our members.
To those present he said:
“NIFHA has a vital role to help you negotiate the challenges ahead and as your partners, tenants and customers expect more from you, you will expect more from us. We commit to rising to this challenge.”
The annual accounts were presented (members can contact the office for a copy) together with the Review of 2011-12.
Photos from the evening can be viewed via our facebook page.
About NIFHA (Northern Ireland Federation of Housing Associations)
- members of NIFHA include all 30 registered housing associations in NI and five non-registered housing associations
- promotes, represents and supports the voluntary housing movement in Northern Ireland
- promotes housing associations in Northern Ireland and speaks authoritatively on their behalf
- is independent of the government, political parties and private interests
- aims to be even-handed in working with, and on behalf of, its members
- expects accountability, respect, value for money and high quality services from the organisations that help meet housing needs
- offer members and associates a range of best-practice training programmes, including seminars and workshops, support with housing policy and research, communications, administration and finance
- is funded through a combination of member and associate subscriptions as well as enterprise income
About Housing Associations
- actively work to benefit the community by providing affordable accommodation and related housing services to those in greatest housing need
- manage nearly 38,000 units of rented accommodation - over a third of all social housing in NI
- have provided virtually all new social housing in NI since 1998
- provide accommodation for general needs and supported tenants
- are voluntary organisations dedicated to helping people obtain decent, affordable accommodation which meets their needs
- have collectively taken out over £626.2million of private finance to assist with social house building since 1991