Understanding resilience in a post-Covid context

By Frances Harkin - on 16/10/2020

HACT is seeking to work with a consortium of partners to begin to develop a conceptual model of resilience and quantify its impact of the sector.

The Covid-19 crisis has brought about key changes in the social housing sector: vulnerability factors have been exacerbated triggering a change in the allocation of resources as a response to Covid-19. This has implications for the availability, accessibility and sustainability of services and resources and therefore future financial planning.

There isn’t a commonly understood and agreed definition of resilience across the wider social housing sector, although it is a concept often discussed. There are therefore challenges with understanding what resilience looks like for social housing residents and the communities in which they live.

A greater understanding of these factors will lead to a more effective targeting of resources and an improved ability to measure the impact of services upon residents. There is huge potential to gather, record, interrogate and apply data more effectively so that social landlords can shift from a reactive to a proactive stance.

HACT is seeking to work with a consortium of partners to begin to assess these challenges and their impacts. The project will focus on:

  • Identifying, defining and quantifying existing and emerging resilience factors to create a suite of indicators for resilience in different areas; 
  • Developing a conceptual model of resilience that focuses on the factors that contribute towards the resilience of residents and communities as well as social sustainability; 
  • Developing better data collection processes to contribute towards a more joined-up evidence base for effective and efficient investment decisions as the sector continues to respond to the Covid-19 crisis and subsequently shifts to recovery mode.

The project will involve desk research and stakeholder engagement, including engagement with the wider sector via interviews, roundtables and surveys to create a definition and suite of indicators that are broadly applicable for housing providers. In addition, HACT will facilitate a series of roundtables during the research project to build on momentum and anticipated appetite to use the conceptual model to optimise investment and operational delivery in the sector.

The key output from this research project will be a detailed document outlining key learning and insights from the research. It will provide a blueprint that utilises and tests the definition and suite of measures that can be used to inform strategic decision making and service design. Ultimately, we want to create a framework that enables housing providers to work in a more proactive and preventative mode of support and resource allocation.

HACT is inviting housing providers to collaborate on this research project along with other sector partners. If you are interested in finding out more, please email HACT's Head of Research, Frances Harkin at frances.harkin@hact.org.uk.

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