North Essex Councils Housing Summit success

PUBLISHED: 28 February 2024

This month saw a pivotal moment for North Essex Councils and partners from the North East Essex Health and Wellbeing Alliance as they moved to address the housing challenges in north Essex.

Over 120 industry experts and leaders came together at the North Essex Councils’ Housing Summit 2024 on 15 February, to talk about what they can do better through collaboration to find sustainable solutions to temporary accommodation and the shortage of affordable housing.

Cllr Chris Whitbread, Chair of North Essex Councils, said that the summit had been organised to tackle the pressing issues surrounding housing shortages and included insights from well-regarded industry professionals.

“The event was about fostering a collaborative spirit, bringing leaders and industry experts together, from across the housing sector, to address the serious and multifaceted natures of the housing crisis.

“We heard from a range of fantastic keynote speakers in the morning but most importantly, spent the afternoon in workshops finding tangible solutions to our housing challenges in north Essex.”

The summit covered a range of topics, including the shortage of affordable housing, the need for data driven decision and insight, the financial impact of temporary accommodation on councils and the short and long term impacts that homelessness brings.

Participants engaged in workshops, panel discussions and networking sessions to foster a comprehensive understand of the issues first hand, sharing innovative projects and ideas. During the workshops, no idea was too big or too small, to make a real difference to how we provide homes for people that need them most in North Essex.

Ed Garratt OBE, chief executive, NHS Suffolk and North East Essex Integrated Care Board, said: “It is well recognised that housing conditions have an impact on our physical and mental wellbeing, and that improved housing can increase life expectancy, reduce levels of illness and lessen the impact on health care services.

“This event was an important step forward and I hope will act as a catalyst for greater future collaboration to deliver meaningful improvement in housing across north east Essex.

“We have ambition to be an exemplar nationally in our work on housing and health.”

Professor Gina Yannitell Reinhardt from the University of Essex, said: "It will be important for the University to contribute its expertise in whole systems design and data management and analytics as the key stakeholders in Essex move forward to agree and implement important actions to address the housing crisis."

A full report that sums up the key findings, recommendations and proposed strategies that emerged from the Housing Summit discussions will be published in March 2024. The aim is to then create an action plan for addressing the housing shortage and fostering a more sustainable approach to providing homes for people that need them most in north Essex.

Pictured above: 
NEC CEOs ICB and Leaders group
Left to right, Front: Cllr Graham Butland, Leader of Braintree District Council; Jen Gould, Strategic Director
, Epping Forest District Council; Pam Donnelly, CEO Colchester City Council; Paul Dodson, Director of Strategy and Resources, Maldon District Council; Ian Davidson, CEO Tendring District Council; Laura Taylor-Green, North East Essex Alliance Director; Nick Eveleigh, CEO Chelmsford City Council, and Cllr Mark Stephenson, Leader of Tendring District Council.
Back: Cllr Stephen Robinson, Leader of Chelmsford City Council; Dan Gascoyne, CEO Braintree District Council, and Cllr David King, Leader of Colchester City Council.


Page last reviewed: 28 February 2024


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