Over 50 members of housing associations, local authorities and local homelessness charities came together on Wednesday 3rd October at Hightown Housing Association, to discuss what more they could do to end homelessness across Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire.

With presentations from David Bogle, Chief Executive of Hightown, Chris Hancock, Head of Housing at the national charity Crisis and Patrick Odling-Smee, Service Director of Housing at Luton Borough Council, delegates heard about many initiatives underway to help the growing number of people becoming homeless in England.

This led to discussions about practical ways that those attending from housing associations, local councils and homelessness charities can work together to implement ideas that will make a real difference. Working through The Homes for Cathy commitments, a set of aspirational standards for housing association and other member organisations to work towards, suggestions were shared that could lead to more people being able to access housing or avoid becoming homeless.

David Bogle, Chief Executive of Hightown Housing Association said:

“This was a great opportunity for us all to come together to find practical ways to implement ideas and initiatives that will make an impact and reduce homelessness. The number of families in temporary accommodation is rising; as is the number of rough sleepers, so there is a need to do more. Housing associations must help our local authority partners, who have the statutory responsibility for homelessness; it is our social purpose and why we exist.”