Measuring the impact we’ve made

May 1, 2020

HACT has been joined by a number of organisations in endorsing a set of nine impact measurements that the Centre for Excellence in Community Investment is asking social housing organisations to collect during the Covid-19 crisis.

“HAs have done a phenomenal amount of work in their roles in supporting residents and communities where they work over the last six weeks, and we want to understand and measure the impact they’ve had,” said Andrew van Doorn, Chief Executive, HACT. “As the sector leader for social impact in housing, we have identified nine measures that will help us to evidence the impact of the social housing sector during the Covid-19 crisis.

“The measures have been developed by the Centre for Excellence in Community Investment, working in partnership with a coalition of social housing organisations across the UK. We are asking social housing organisations to share these measures with us, so that we can aggregate the full scale of the work of social housing across the UK. Within organisations, these measures will also demonstrate the invaluable work of community investment teams to internal colleagues and Board members.”

The impact measures have been endorsed by:

  • NHF
  • SFHA
  • Placeshapers
  • Tpas
  • NIFHA
  • Communities that work
  • Community Housing Cymru
  • Northern Housing Consortium
  • Clarion
  • L&Q
  • Sovereign
  • Peabody
  • Orbit
  • MTVH
  • Newydd HA
  • Longhurst
  • Irwell Valley Homes

Sinead Butters, Chair of Placeshapers, said: “Up and down the country I am hearing stories of how members have been part of the response to this crisis, going over and above in their communities. The importance of a decent affordable home in a strong community has never been more important.  This data will help us quantify the impact made by housing associations and help inform how the country recovers, taking from it what we have learned and what can change nationally.”

Tristan Carlyon, Head of Research and Analysis at the National Housing Federation, said: “Housing associations have worked incredibly hard over these past weeks, ensuring that residents and communities have all the support they need during this crisis. This work by CECI will help us to capture and quantify this work, showing exactly how much our sector does to support those who need it most.”

Hayley Macnamara, Policy Manager, Community Housing Cymru, said:  “Housing associations have demonstrated their role as community anchor institutions during COVID-19 and have stepped up to respond to the challenges that have emerged. We recognise that this is an uncertain time so we have put in place measures and support to maintain essential services and provide support to tenants and the wider community. We are pleased to support the Centre of Excellence in Community Investment measures and we will be using the results as part of our #WithYou campaign to illustrate how our members have served communities throughout the pandemic.”

Ben Collins, CEO, NIFHA, said: “NIFHA supports the collection of information relating to community investment work, undertaken by our housing associations, which in this currently difficult environment is critical, and demonstrates how the social housing sector has stepped up to these challenges.”

Jenny Osbourne, Chief Executive, tpas, said: “It’s so important that as a sector we work together to track and understand how we have all responded to the Covid crisis in our communities. These impact measures will be a great help for that.”

Karen Browne, Senior Policy Advisor, NHC, “Social landlords have always been more than housing providers and at this time of emergency it is important to measure the critical response to the COVID-19 pandemic to help to monitor and continue to support residents and staff.  It is important to direct support where it is most needed and this evidence will make the case for sustained support in the longer term.”

Rachel Honey-Jones, Head of Community Regeneration, Newydd HA, said: “These measures will ensure that we are telling the incredibly important work housing associations are carrying out across the UK in these unpresented times in a clear and easy to understand format for the wider general public. We are thrilled to be a key partner of the Centre and wholeheartedly endorse this excellent piece of work.”

Sarah Willis, Head of Strategic Partnerships & National Delivery. MTVH, said: “This simple impact tool will enable us to work collaboratively as a sector to progress our thinking and inform our collective support for communities.”

We understand that social housing organisations are under extreme pressure at the moment, and as a consequence, we are asking that they report back these nine measures to us on a monthly basis. The first set of reporting will be for two months – March and April – but this will change to a monthly basis thereafter.

Organisations can submit their measures to the Centre for Excellence in Community Investment using an Excel spreadsheet that is available from the Centre web site. Information contained within these documents will be stored securely and will not be shared with third parties. We will only be collating this information and will not use any of the information on a case by case or benchmarking basis.

We are asking organisations to send their completed forms to us two weeks after the end of the reporting month. For March and April, we are asking organisations to send their figures to us by 15 May 2020. We will aggregate the results and send them back out to everyone who has completed the survey the following week.

We are asking organisations to only complete the measures that are relevant to them.

Editor’s notes

The nine measures we are asking social housing organisations to collect and share are:

  • Number of residents identified as vulnerable in the past month
  • Number of welfare calls to residents in the past month
  • Percentage of residents requesting any form of support
  • Number of people supported with advice and guidance in the past month
  • Amount distributed through direct financial support in the past month
  • Number of food interventions made in the past month
  • Percentage of households receiving food interventions more than once
  • Number of staff deployed to community response roles in the past month
  • Number of residents identified as being at risk of falling into arrears as a result of self-isolation or illness

News & views