Zaiba Qureshi to co-chair the debut Women's Housing Forum

Published 04 January 2019

The Women’s Housing Forum has today announced the line-up of its much anticipated debut open meeting. Taking place on 18 January 2019, this inaugural event is open to anyone who wants to work together to advance women’s access to affordable housing bringing together residents, those with lived experience and housing sector professionals for a day of engaging workshops and guest speakers. The meeting is taking place at the Institution of Structural Engineers.

The purpose of the Women’s Housing Forum is to raise awareness of the links between women’s housing needs and gender inequality, and to encourage social housing providers and other strategic partners to work together to tackle these issues. In addition, the forum will also be commissioning new research into the links between gender inequality and the housing crisis, which will be utilised to identify practical steps all social housing providers can take to better meet women’s housing needs.

This event will be co-chaired by Denise Fowler, Chief Executive of Women’s Pioneer Housing, and Zaiba Qureshi, Chief Executive of Housing for Women. The first open forum will welcome two guest speakers: Kate Henderson, Chief Executive of the National Housing Federation, and Terrie Alafat, Chief Executive of the Chartered Institute of Housing.

Denise and Zaiba commented on the announcement: “We are both proud to co-chair this forum. We are aiming to bring together those wishing to challenge gender inequality, and raise awareness throughout the housing sector of the inequalities faced by women in accessing affordable housing.”   

The line-up includes:

  • Guest Speaker: Kate Henderson, Chief Executive of the National Housing Federation: What organisations can do to meet women’s housing needs
  • Guest Speaker: Terrie Alafat, Chief Executive of the Chartered Institute of Housing: What needs to be done to equip housing professionals to meet women’s housing needs
  • Women, Young Girls and Homelessness workshop: Run by Caroline Bernard (Homeless Link), Sarah Walters, Selina Handley, Charlotte Waterson and Natalie Harrison (Shelter)
  • Domestic Abuse and Housing workshop: Run by Gudrun Burnet (DAHA) and Penny East (Safelives)
  • Women and Design workshop: Run by Wendy Davis (Rooms of our Own) and Susan Mackie (Homes England)
  • Next steps for the Women’s Housing Forum: Run by Aileen Evans (Grand Union, CIH)


The debut Women’s Housing Forum is kindly sponsored by Devonshire’s Solicitors LLP.

Register for tickets online via Eventbrite here. 

For more information visit:




For further information please contact Sarah Stone, Communications Officer at Housing for Women via  / 0203 794 4786 or Symone Clark-McGuire, PA & Communications Officer at Women’s Pioneer Housing via / 0203 657 9286


Notes to Editors

About the Women’s Housing Forum

Founded in 2018, The Women’s Housing Forum was set up to research and address the challenges that women face in accessing housing, raising awareness of the link between women’s housing needs and gender inequality. 

The Forum began as a group of women working in the housing sector who having seen the inequalities women faced when accessing suitable housing, wanted to do something about it. The forum emerged as a means to address the structural inequality that women face, aiming to influence housing providers to address women’s specific needs. The founders’ vision for the forum is a place where everyone who cares about women’s housing can have an equal voice and come together to tackle these issues.

Housing is, without doubt, a feminist issue. Women’s lower average incomes, additional caring responsibilities and greater experience of domestic abuse and sexual violence have a significant impact on their ability to find and keep suitable housing. For women without a stable and secure home, accessing and succeeding in education and employment becomes all the more difficult.

Intersectionality, which considers the overlapping contexts that women face in relation to their race, sexuality, age etc. on top of being a woman, is at the heart of the work and research the forum wants to do and will be considered at every workshop.

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