How board members in the housing sector can support each other and share knowledge

Ibby Ismail, 10 July 2024

Being a member of the board of directors in a housing organisation can be a daunting task, especially if you are new to the role or the sector in general.

Currently we are all facing challenges due to economic factors that put further pressure on our ability to deliver the homes and services needed.

We have also been through some tragic events that caused us to pause, reflect and reshape the way we deliver services to our customers. This includes new legislation but also a collective desire to get things right and ensure that similar tragedies never happen again.

As a board member, you have a responsibility to make sure the homes your organisation provides are safe and decent. You need to be assured that it is governed well, viable and engaged with its customers.

In this context, it is more important than ever that people have an opportunity and safe space to share learning and develop the knowledge needed to be an effective board member.

One important vehicle to help make this happen is the virtual Board Member Inductions hosted twice a year by the National Housing Federation. The next one takes place in October.

I spoke at the last event in May about my 10 years’ experience of being a board member and how as a social housing resident myself, I have an overview of the system from start to finish - quality assuring services at one end to receiving them at the other.

The inductions are also a great opportunity to get an overview of the sector - what is currently happening in housing and what is on the horizon, as well as hearing updates from organisations like the Regulator of Social Housing.

For me though, sharing knowledge and experience will help us all face the challenges ahead but also spot opportunities to safeguard the services we currently provide and will improve on for future generations.

To quote one of my favourite musicians Bill Withers: "When times are tough, let's find others to lean on."