Candidates clash over 'distrust' of housing sector
The two candidates competing to be vice president of the Chartered Institute of Housing have clashed over government perception of the housing sector.
In a head to head debate organised by Inside Housing today housing consultant Jan Taranczuk said UK government politicians have a ‘distrust’ of the housing profession that needs to be addressed.
He said the situation is better in Wales and Scotland where there is a ‘much closer working relationship’ between the relevant arms of the CIH and their respective governments.
However his rival, Orbit Group chief executive Paul Tennant, disagreed with Mr Taranczuk’s assessment. He said the CIH has a good relationship with housing minister Grant Shapps, but argued more should be done to promote the wider benefits of good housing.
‘We make a huge different to the health agenda, we make a huge difference to the environmental agenda, a huge difference to the economic agenda, there is a very, very broad offer that we bring to society as housing organisations, so I’d want to build on that,’ he said.
The candidates also disagreed on security of tenure, with Mr Taranczuk arguing against fixed-term tenancies. ‘There needs to be stability to allow people to progress,’ he said.
Mr Tennant said Orbit is introducing five year tenancies, but that two years would be too short a term.
‘I think what we are trying to do here is make best use of what is still a scarce resource,’ he said.
‘We have too few homes, that is a fundamental issue, what we are trying to do is manage pragmatically what we do have.’
The vice president, who will become president in 2013, is being elected by CIH members for the first time. Voting closes on Monday 30 January.