Local Housing Association celebrates success of ground-breaking pilot scheme 

03/12/2008 12:00 


RHONDDA Housing Association (RHA) is celebrating the success of the first-ever community training scheme to be run by a housing association, which has provided interactive training for 20 staff, residents and community members to learn the basics of social housing.

The Certificate in Housing course is a nine-week pilot scheme developed in partnership with RHA and the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH).

Split into eight bite-sized sessions, the course covers a full range of social housing topics including what it is, how it works, who uses it, the effects of the current economic climate on social housing, the support that is available from housing associations and what jobs exist in the industry.

The course also acts as a foundation for further training in Social Housing such as a Level 2 Certificate or HNC in Housing.

Chief Executive of RHA, Lesley Davies, said: “The success of this year’s pilot has been exceptional. We have had some very encouraging feedback from all 20 of the participants and we hope to make the course a permanent opportunity for people to learn more about social housing.”

The course was taught by three Housing lecturers from UWIC’s Cardiff School of Health Sciences; Liz Hayes, Jane Mudd and Cath Boswell, who were volunteers.

Liz Hayes, who is also chair of RHA, said: “This is a wonderful opportunity for people to realise that Social Housing is not just associated with criminals and poor standards of housing but about charity and voluntary work. It gives individuals the chance to gain more knowledge about an integral part of society and understand the key concepts behind social housing.

“There are some very interesting, reasonably well paid and secure jobs involved with social housing.”

Claire Jones, from Pen-y-graig, has taken part in the course since its start in September. She said: “It was great to learn so much about social housing. It was very interesting and I really enjoyed meeting new people. I would thoroughly recommend this course to anyone.”

This year’s course was brought to a close with a certificate presentation ceremony at Soar Chapel in Pen-y-graig, and was attended by Assembly Member for Rhondda, Leighton Andrews.

Leighton Andrews said: “I would like to pay tribute to all those who have organised and participated in the pilot scheme, and congratulate Rhondda Housing Association for pioneering this training scheme in Wales.

“Problems of housing affordability have become more acute in recent years and homelessness levels have increased sharply, but the social housing supply in Welsh rural communities is more limited than in urban areas.

“Training schemes such as this one will become instrumental in helping people understand the importance of social housing in our communities.”

The course will start again next year in January 2009. To apply for a place on the course please contact RHA’s Community Development on 01443 424 212.

For further information contact Sarah Huckson, Press Officer, Tel: 029 2041 6221, or e-mail: shuckson@uwic.ac.uk
Web: http://www.uwic.ac.uk/