I don’t think there’s ever been a more important or pressing time for housing associations to breathe life into their social purpose and step up to the community plate.
NEWS & VIEWS
Sovereign recently committed to triple its investment in communities. This step change in investment was won off the track record set by our work in our priority communities, and the fantastic results our employment and training service deliver.
The Welsh Government’s rent settlement announcement at the beginning of the year was greeted with dismay by many social housing providers in Wales. It has already resulted in many assessing cost-cutting strategies, and may result in a significant reduction in community investement activities by some Welsh housing associations.
Last week, I attended an interesting event to showcase the Community Impact Partnership, a £3m social investment fund run by Clarion, Peabody L&Q and Orbit. The programme provides an alternative option to traditional models of funding by offering a blend of grants and loan of between £25,000 and £150,000 to community businesses, social enterprises and charities.
We wrapped up our tour of Centre for Excellence Roadshows in Bristol last week, at the rather brilliant Armada Rooms. The conversation was lively with attendees coming from as far apart as Plymouth and Newcastle, and it was nice to see a few familiar faces.
Yesterday I was invited to a workshop in Cardiff being run by Barry and Adam from HACT to develop the Centre for Excellence in Community Investment. I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect…
Following the budget announcements last week we welcomed the top level announcement on the additional support and funding for Universal Credit roll out. With 61% of customers in receipt of Universal Credit in arrears, Orbit have been actively looking at how we support customers and are successfully reducing levels of arrears.
Sure enough, Kevin from CoControl was true to his promise, turning up at his third consecutive roadshow. Despite being warned by Barry that all the roadshows follow the same format, Kevin was no doubt conscious there are regional and national differences that emerge through the discussions we have at roadshows. Glasgow proved to be no different.
As we continue our journey around the UK to talk with community investment colleagues to shape the Centre for Excellence, some of our intended outcomes are already being realised (albeit in a small way!).
We’re making our way around the UK and visiting seven cities to develop the Centre for Excellence in Community Investment. On Monday we hosted our third roadshow and got the view from London.
As we develop the Centre for Excellence in Community Investment, we’re hosting a series of roadshows around the UK. On Thursday, we were in Belfast and I had two key takeaways from this session.
The first roadshow was kindly hosted by colleagues at Yorkshire Housing. Attendees came from far and wide to hear about the Centre and input their view, with some making the journey from Bolton, Manchester, and Blackpool. The atmosphere in the room was lively from the start, with a warm buzz and friendly chatter setting the scene for the rest of the afternoon.
The Centre for Excellence in Community Investment is an initiative from HACT, UK housing’s ideas and innovation agency.
If you need help in developing a community investment strategy, measuring your social value or demonstrating the business case for community investment, please contact us.
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