Homes for Cathy, a group of 72 housing associations, will come together at their first national conference on April 30th in London to debate what further measures housing associations can take to tackle the growing homelessness crisis.
The group has been working closely with the national homeless charity Crisis as they research and develop their ‘Plan to End Homelessness’ which will be launched in the summer.
Taking on board the recommendations from the Crisis plan and feedback from speakers and delegates, the Homes for Cathy group will develop a plan or charter which will be a call to action for the housing association sector.
Confirmed speakers include:
- Lord Kerslake
- Shadow Secretary of State for Housing, John Healey MP
- Housing and Communities and Local Government Parliamentary Select Committee member, Bob Blackman MP
- Shelter Chief Executive, Polly Neate
- Crisis Head of Housing, Chris Hancock
- Crisis Chief Executive, Jon Sparkes who will be the joint chair of the conference
Speakers will cover a range of topics, with Bob Blackman addressing the Homelessness Reduction Act, and John Healey outlining Labour’s view on tackling the housing crisis.
David Bogle, Chief Executive of Hightown Housing Association and Chair of the conference said: “In the face of the growing number of families in temporary accommodation and the rising numbers of rough sleepers, it is vital that housing associations increase their efforts. Housing Associations must be seen to be part of the solution to the homelessness crisis. We need to work closely with local and national government, national representative bodies and homelessness charities to try to end homelessness and rough sleeping.”
First established in 2016 to mark the 50th anniversary of Ken Loach’s landmark drama documentary Cathy Come Home, Homes for Cathy is a nationwide alliance of 72 housing associations dedicated to raising awareness of homelessness and helping to meet the continuing needs of homeless people. Homes for Cathy works alongside campaigning organisations and charities including the National Housing Federation, Crisis and Shelter in lobbying government for additional resources to help tackle homelessness and support local authorities in their statutory homeless responsibilities. The Homes for Cathy group has undertaken a range of activities locally and nationally to raise awareness of the plight of the homeless, including sponsoring parliamentary events, local debates and theatre/drama workshops (working with the Cardboard Citizens) and producing an Education pack for schools.
Please click here to view the conference agenda.