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Reflections from the NHF Finance Conference

Recently, Sustainability for Housing board members, David Cleary, Sarah Smith and Fayann Simpson OBE, attended the NHF Finance Conference.

The conference, which took place between the 15th – 16th of March, saw many people from within the social housing sector gather in Liverpool to network, reflect on current issues, and hear from some of the sector’s leading stakeholders.

Below are Fayann’s, David’s and Sarah’s reflections from the conference:

Fayann Simpson OBE

“This was my first NHF Finance Conference and I thought it was fantastic. It was great to come together with organisations across the sector to discuss challenging issues of the day. I thought the wider landscape both financial and political was clearly set out and the commentary was sobering and very insightful. The sector has to tackle the challenges on improving quality of homes and services to residents, building safety and the net zero agenda head on. There are real challenges ahead for the sector and residents but I do see a breadth of skills and commitment to tackle these issues. I would recommend that others attend the finance conference if they haven’t done so already.”

David Cleary

“It was fantastic to see so many senior housing executives in attendance throughout. This enabled many great conversations, particularly regarding tenant safety and well-being. Ongoing inflationary cost pressures continue to be of concern, as is the threat of further cyber disruption. Whilst it varies by geography, reduced new development will feature which has the potential to restrict access to housing and deepen the housing challenge. The sector also needs to remain committed to net zero via greening the built environment. In summary, an excellent two days catching up with associations both large and small, as well as the professionals that support the housing sector.”

Sarah Smith

“The NHF Finance Conference is always a great opportunity to get together with colleagues from other associations, our lenders and investors and other consultants supporting our work. This year was particularly sobering. The sector is facing very significant pressures as reflected in the metrics reported by the Regulator of Social Housing (RSH). There is a real need for significant investment in our homes not only to tackle issues such as fire remediation but also to move towards delivering on the net zero carbon agenda. The economic environment including ongoing high inflationary pressures impacts both our own businesses but the residents we support. But despite the challenges and pressures we are all facing, it was very clear we are absolutely committed to providing safe homes for our residents.”