The road to recovery

By Mary-Kathryn Adams, Deputy Chief Executive, HACT - on 23/06/2020

For many within the social housing sector, the last few months have been a whirlwind of activity.

As the impact measures we released this week highlighted, social housing organisations have made over a quarter of a million welfare calls, identifying over 120,000 vulnerable residents in the process.

Those short-term, immediate pressures have reduced, for the moment. Now social housing organisations are turning their attention to their future role in place and how they can best use their resources to be a key part of the recovery and reset that is needed. 

It’s more important than ever that we use every resource we can to help us to understand our neighbourhoods, so that we can target our limited resources where they’re most needed. 

In short, so we can work better in place. 

This is where Community Insight can play a critical role. 

Community Insight contains over 1,150 datasets that give you a deeper understanding of your local communities and areas.* 

If you’re one of those organisations making welfare calls over the last few months, you have no doubt built up a wealth of data. Combining that intelligence about your residents with Community Insight will give you a clearer, deeper insight into areas where need is most acute, and where you should be prioritising your resources. 

Initially, many organisations focused these welfare calls on their elderly residents, ensuring that they had access to food and medicines.

More recently, we’ve heard from a number of community investment colleagues that an emerging need within their communities is people who are experiencing poverty for the first time. Typically, these are people aged 25-40, single parents, many of whom have never experienced unemployment before. 

As the impact of Covid-19 on the economy begins to be felt, many of them will be looking for support and advice around how to apply for Universal Credit, how to retrain, and who they can turn to for wellbeing support. 

Community Insight can help you to proactively identify where these residents are living, the other factors impacting those local communities, and the partners operating locally that you may want to work with to respond. 

With the flexibility to view your neighbourhoods at local authority level or at street level, you can use the tool to identify emerging areas of need, and within minutes, create geographic areas all users can view and compare. 

You can also create a custom dashboard for pandemic recovery, map this against your stock and then use the dashboard to monitor and compare these indicators across different geographic or service areas. The possibilities are endless – you can create a dashboard from any of the datasets in the tool, or you can focus on specific datasets like the Community Needs Index. You can also use intelligence from the welfare calls you’ve conducted and use this to inform the priority areas you view in the dashboard. This short guide explains how you can create a custom dashboard.

If you’d like us to show you how Community Insight can help you during these uncertain times, please get in touch. We’re confident that Community Insight can play a critical role in helping you support your communities to play a key role in the recovery and reset that is urgently needed.  

* - the total number of datasets in Community Insight England is 1,157, in Community Insight Scotland is 627 and in Community Insight Wales is 849. You can see all the latest data updates here.

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