Between March and May 2020, social housing organisations representing over a third of the sector provided almost £500,000 in financial assistance, made almost half a million welfare calls and identified just over 175,000 vulnerable residents.

“This second set of impact measures shows the continued impact of social housing organisations in supporting and sustaining residents and communities at this crucial time, as well as its ability to adapt to new needs,” said Andrew van Doorn, Chief Executive, HACT. “If we aggregate these figures, it would indicate that the sector has provided over £1.3 million in financial assistance, made nearly 1.4 million welfare calls and identified half a million vulnerable residents since the Covid-19 pandemic began.”

“The sector has engaged with our residents on a scale that has never been seen before, responding to their individual needs, whether with food parcels, advice and guidance, financial assistance or just a regular call to see if they are OK,” he added.

“As we move out of the emergency response phase of this crisis and begin to look to the longer term, the priorities of residents and the level of support they require is changing accordingly. More people are asking for, and receiving, advice and support. Almost 60% of the total amount paid out in financial assistance was paid out in May. And 40% of those resident identified as at risk of arrears happened in May as well.”

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. The numbers of social housing organisations contributing their impact measures to us increased over the past month: 70 organisations contributed data, representing over 1 million homes or 36% of the total UK social housing stock. Contributions were received from organisations across the UK.

We are asking more social housing organisations to share these measures with us, so that we can understand 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.

We are currently receiving data returns from organisations for June, which will help us to evidence the continued impact of social housing organisations. The deadline for submitting these returns to us is 21 July.

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 have also issued some further guidance, clarifying how to fill in the forms.

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

Figures relate to independent social housing organisations and do not include social housing owned by local authorities.

The impact measures have been endorsed by:

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

For further information about this press release, please contact Matthew Grenier on 07914 083337, or email him: communications@hact.org.uk

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