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Covid-19 could offer a once in a lifetime opportunity for housing associations to deliver more with their communities, change how homes are built and adapt services, according to PlaceShapers’ and HACT’s Places After The Pandemic report.
Cross Keys Homes is a PlaceShapers member and were keen to take part in the report, along with more than 100 other organisations. Thanks to the data submitted by members the report shows how housing associations have adapted during the national lockdown and played a key role as community anchors. It explores how social landlords are fundamentally reviewing their work and their role in places as they look to the future.
Places After The Pandemic was launched today (Thursday 17 September) at a seminar to discuss the findings and the next steps.
Cross Keys Homes’ Chief Executive and PlaceShapers Board Member, Claire Higgins, said: “We were more than happy to get involved in sharing our impact measures throughout lockdown with HACT so that as a collective body we can show the overwhelming support we have been able to deliver within this report.
“The results speak for themselves. Together we’ve made such a difference in helping those who need us most in the utmost challenging and uncertain times, and will continue to be there for our residents and communities going forward so that they are safe in the knowledge that we are here to help. The pandemic has helped us refocus and refine the way we support our tenants and the services we deliver to them because we have much greater insight into the challenges they face. This is in part as a result of initiatives such as our BeKind fund which offers practical help in a range of ways to those most affected by the impact of Covid these last few months and in the months to come.”
The report shows that, overall, in the first three months of lockdown, a sample of 42 PlaceShapers members made 300,500 welfare calls, gave advice and guidance to 57,000 people and organised 50,000 food deliveries. Members forged new partnerships with people and organisations in places to make sure support was there for everyone who needed it.
PlaceShapers Chair, Matthew Walker, said: “The crisis has reinforced our sense of place and the value we place on our homes and neighbourhoods. A decent, affordable home meant living in comfort during lockdown. It meant space to work from home and home school.
“The support social landlords offered became a lifeline for many in frightening, isolated times. Up and down the country we heard stories of the difference landlords made and how they worked together in the places they work.”
This report explores the lessons we’ve learned so far from the Covid-19 pandemic, including how local our view of place is and the importance of building strong, trusting partnerships in places.”
Andrew van Doorn, CEO of HACT, said: “As community anchors, housing associations are in a unique position. We work in place for the long-term. We have the capacity to affect the recovery and reset of communities across the UK now and in the future.”
“There are significant risks ahead of us that we will need to navigate. By working in collaboration, by evaluating and learning from our experience, by being bold in our choices, we will be able to accelerate change, maximise our resources and achieve greater impact as place-based organisations.”
You can read the report in full on HACT’s website: https://www.hact.org.uk/news/places-after-pandemic