This weekend saw the Alliance Party Conference at the La Mon Hotel, Co. Down. NIFHA Chief Executive Cameron Watt, NIFHA Deputy Chief Excutive Jennie Donald and I went along to make the case for protecting the Supporting People fund.
As at the Sinn Fein Ard Fheis, Cameron had arranged to speak at the Coffee Club organised by Quintin Oliver’s Strategem. The idea was that Alliance Party delegates could come in for some coffee and stay for an informal chat about whatever the person was speaking on. Cameron’s speech was on: “Turning NIMBYs into YIMBYs: Tackling our housing crisis.” This meeting was attended by Stewart Dickson MLA, who is also a member of the Social Development Committee.
After the Coffee Club myself, Cameron and Jennie walked around the conference centre speaking with delegates about the Supporting People Campaign. Everyone was very receptive and we managed to get some of them into photos with the Supporting People banner.
The campaign received backing from Justice Minister, David Ford, Anna Lo MLA and Stephen Farry MLA. We also spoke with Councillors Stephen Martin, Patrick Brown, Neil Kelly, Andrew Webb and Yvonne Boyle.
We were pleased with how well the Supporting People Campaign was received by the Alliance Party delegates and by how many of them seemed interested in the work of housing associations in general.