The Chair of the National Housing Federation has visited local housing association, Castles & Coasts Housing Association (CCHA), to understand the impact major flooding has had on residents and the work that is being carried out by CCHA to minimise the risk and impact of flooding.
Baroness Warwick of Undercliffe visited Carlisle earlier this month where she saw first-hand how CCHA residents have been affected by four major flooding instances since 2009. Floods brought on by Storm Desmond engulfed thousands of homes across Cumbria just three years ago, with some homeowners watching helplessly as their possessions and livelihoods were washed away.
Since the Association was formed in 2017, staff from CCHA have worked closely with residents who have been impacted by flooding, to develop and implement a new Flood Response Plan. This involved consulting with all residents who live in properties previously affected by flooding. The Plan ensures residents are evacuated from their homes early when there is a risk of flooding and that homes are secured to prevent damage from flood waters, with the aim of reducing the impact of flooding and allowing residents to return to their homes quickly.
During her visit, Baroness Warwick also heard from local residents about the personal impact of flooding on them and how they have worked positively with staff from CCHA.
Baroness Warwick said: “It was a pleasure to visit Carlisle and see the fantastic work that CCHA is doing to tackle the issue of flooding, which has such an awful impact on people’s lives. It is a strong example of a housing association working in partnership with residents on the issues that affect them most, investing in the long-term needs of the community.”
Speaking about the visit, Stephanie Murphy, Chief Executive of CCHA, said: “We were delighted to host Baroness Warwick and show her the work being done by CCHA to minimise the disruption and emotional distress suffered by residents as a result of severe flooding instances in Cumbria.
“Cumbria is one of the country’s most flood prone regions and we’ve witnessed first-hand just how devastating this can be for our communities over recent years, which is why we’ve introduced our Flood Response Plan.
“Working with residents and the authorities, the Plan not only helps people to identify if they live in a flood risk area, but also outlines what to do in the event of a flood and what measures are being put in place to reduce the impact of future floods. Unfortunately, we can’t control the weather, but we can mitigate against the damage caused by flooding and ensure that our residents and their homes are given the best possible advice and guidance.
“As a responsible housing provider, we have a duty to not only provide homes for our residents but also to help make their lives as safe and secure as possible and we’re delighted to have led on the development of the Flood Response Plan which does exactly that and that has attracted the recognition of a leading light in the housing sector.”