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An introduction to the Chartered Institute of Housing

The Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) is a registered charity and not-for-profit organisation located in the UK. Its objective is to ensure that everyone has a decent and affordable home in a thriving and safe community. In that respect, it invites people to join its membership, which currently stands at more than 22,000. The CIH states that the money that it makes is re-invested into the organisation and it funds the activities to support the sector.

The basics

Origins The CIH's origins can be traced back to dissatisfaction with poor housing conditions from the 1850s, particularly after a report of the Royal Commission on the Housing of Working Classes in 1884 -1885, pointing out the shocking conditions under which many had to live. Octavia Hill This Victorian-era socialist, philanthropist and educationalist initiated the profession of housing management and established a way to manage property let on tenancies in Marylebone between 1865 -1866. She dedicated her life to alleviating housing hardships and increasing housing rights, and her work led to the founding of the Association of Women Housing Workers in 1916. In 1965, this association merged with the Institute of Housing, creating the foundations for the CIH. Influencing government The CIH's influence in housing matters has even extended to the government. In 1997, the institute's plan to release capital receipts from council house sales was implemented by the government. The CIH has also championed local housing companies and its lobbying has helped councils in their bid to improve housing.

The specifics

Interim chief executive The current chief executive of the CIH is Grainia Long, who has been a director at CIH for four years, and who is responsible for its business unit in Northern Ireland. She was the principal adviser to the Commission on the Future for Housing in Northern Ireland between 2880 and 2010, and had previously been director of policy at the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland. Recently, she was appointed as a commissioner to the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission. CIH branches The head office of the CIH is located in Coventry in the West Midlands, but it also has offices in London, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Belfast and Hong Kong. The institute claims that it is the source of training, journals, events and seminars for a range of participants including companies and non-members. Its annual conference is held every June in Harrogate.

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