Federation chief exec addresses City South seminar
Published by Becki Ord for City South Manchester in Housing and also in Communities
David Orr presenting at the City South Seminar – Housing Associations: leading social entrepreneurs.
THE Chief Executive of the National Housing Federation addressed a seminar attended by leading social housing professionals and local businesses at an event hosted by City South Manchester Housing Trust last week (Thursday 5 June).
David Orr focussed on the important role housing associations, like City South, play as leading social entrepreneurs and how they can work closely with businesses in their area to create jobs and boost the local economy.
The event was part of a series of seminars organised by the Hulme-based social landlord, which aims to bring together academics and housing professionals to share their knowledge with others who work in the sector, their stakeholders, local councillors and tenants.
Mr Orr said: “There are some big opportunities available for housing associations. We need to think differently and think creatively about how we can make a difference at a local level. We also need to be smarter in developing local partnerships.”
Mr Orr encouraged City South to make the most of the people in its area, highlighting that housing associations can be a vehicle for great people, it is just a matter of unlocking their potential. He went on to applaud City South’s mission driven and value-based approach to making a difference in its communities.
While stressing the challenging current economic climate, he insisted that housing associations and their partners must rise to that challenge and be pro-active in their approach to helping local businesses succeed by thinking smarter about local partnerships.
This is something City South is already achieving through The Works – a community based social enterprise that is helping local people find jobs, develop skills and access training in local businesses.
City South is also keen to provide support for entrepreneurial tenants who are looking to set up their own business. Help is given to local start-ups and social enterprises and an SME network has been set up to share creative ideas.
Dave Power, the Chief Executive of City South Manchester Housing Trust, said: “We were delighted to welcome David Orr to our recent seminar and hear his insights into the important role housing associations now play in supporting the local economy.
“There is no doubt that the role of housing associations is changing, no longer are we just about putting a roof over people’s heads and collecting the rent.
“Housing associations need to harness the opportunities that are out there, develop and expand services and look for innovative new partners and approaches. David Orr’s optimism for our future role in society has to be embraced and delivered at grass root levels.”
The National Housing Federation is the voice of affordable housing in England. It represents the work of housing associations and campaigns for better housing. Members of the National Housing Federation provide two and a half million homes for more than five million people.