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DMU professor launches campaign to end homelessness in new role as president of the Chartered Institute of Housing

A De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) professor whose research aims to tackle homelessness and support affordable housing has been appointed president of the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH)

In taking up her new role for the CIH – the professional body for those working in the housing sector – Professor Jo Richardson has unveiled details of her presidential campaign, which will run throughout her time in office. 

Jo Richardson-1494

Called ‘Homeful’, the campaign seeks to build on the success of the response to homelessness and rough sleeping during the pandemic, exploring housing-led approaches to resolve and prevent homelessness. 

Professor Richardson, Professor of Housing and Social Inclusion at DMU, said: “I’m excited to be taking up the CIH presidential mantle today from Aileen Evans who has run a brilliant campaign highlighting mental health and wellbeing during her time in office. 

“I’ve been a member of CIH for over 25 years. It’s an organisation that I’ve worked for, worked with, and learnt from during my housing career. I’m honoured to be able to serve the CIH membership in the role of president and I’m looking forward to bringing the Homeful campaign to life. 

“Homeful is all about exploring housing-led approaches to resolving and preventing homelessness, not only street homelessness but all circumstances of precarious, unaffordable or unsustainable housing, particularly in the current context of growth in use of temporary accommodation.”  

The campaign will include the UK’s largest co-produced action research project which will include people who have experienced homelessness, housing providers, homeless organisations, partner agencies, charities and housing residents across the country to collect data, analyse findings and share learning across all parts of the UK.  

The work will provide an opportunity to reflect on what worked in the response to the pandemic and what further needs to be done to ensure sustainable, affordable housing is available for those who need it. 

To start the campaign, an initial report written by Professor Richardson alongside Patrick Duce from World Habitat and CIH’s Yoric Irving-Clarke, explores some of the lessons learned during Covid-19, where national and local government, organisations and individuals worked to protect and support people experiencing homelessness through the ‘Everyone In’ initiative.  

 Gavin Smart, Chief Executive of the CIH, said, “As housing professionals and organisations, we know that by collaborating across the sector we can do more to resolve and prevent homelessness throughout the UK.  

“The Homeful campaign will be our opportunity to highlight good practice, share learning widely and embed some of the lessons we learnt during the Covid-19 pandemic. It’s our opportunity to work together to end homelessness for good.”  

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The Homeful campaign will run for the tenure of Professor Richardson’s presidency, from July 2021 to December 2022. Over the next 18 months, in addition to completing research, she will also be fundraising for her chosen presidential charity, End Youth Homelessness.  

Nick Connolly, Managing Director of End Youth Homelessness said, “End Youth Homelessness is all about practical impact; testing new ideas, sharing our learning, and scaling what works.  

“Jo’s Homeful campaign chimes with this philosophy and we’re looking forward to collaborating with Jo and her team to help bring the specific needs of homeless young people into the wider debate about homeless services.  

“We are also incredibly grateful that Jo has chosen to support End Youth Homelessness during her exciting fundraising plans.”  

Professor Richardson, who was made a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in 2019 thanks to her impactful work in the field, is also Associate Dean (Research) for the Faculty of Business and Law at DMU.

Posted on Monday 5th July 2021

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