23 June, 2022

Understanding resident resilience

The latest on our resilience project and what we are doing next.

There is an emerging focus on resilience in the public sector narrative, for both service providers and service users. This has become more acute in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic and society’s ongoing response and recovery with the resilience of communities, organisations and local and national infrastructure, or lack thereof as the case may be, receives increasing attention.


 Within the social housing sector, is a strong interest in understanding the resilience of residents and the extent to which the work we do as a sector can have a positive impact.  In order to understand our service performance now and in the future, we need to monitor and report on both the resident’s circumstances and their perceptions of their financial and health-related resilience and whether through colleagues, relationships, and our homes – we are providing foundations that enable residents to build and maintain their resilience. 


Six housing associations came together to consider the bigger picture around resilience with a specific focus on defining and understanding the attributes of the resilience of residents.

Working with partners HACT has:

Here are the results of the three key questions the research addressed.

What do we mean when we talk about the resilience of individuals? 

A working definition of resilience – a resilient individual is someone who demonstrates the ability to adapt to, and bounce back from, changing and adverse circumstances without detriment to their long-term wellbeing. 

How can we measure resilience and track changes over time?

Development of resilience index with a suite of seven domains of resilience: Basic needs, core self, health & wellbeing, financial wellbeing, education training and skills, social connections, access to services and support, with associated indicators.


HACT collated data from a consortium of housing providers in a consistent format using a bespoke data schema. Partners contributed data to the testing phase, including demographic data, data relating to societal vulnerability, economic experience and community and networks and data that could be used to make inferences. Followed by identifying independent (predictor) variables – e.g., age, ethnicity, length of tenancy, factors that we assume will have an affect on levels of resilience and dependent (outcome) variables – e.g., debt level, state benefit claims and level of contact, which can change over time or in response to an intervention.


What’s next?

How can we use insights about the resilience of residents 

The resident resilience model is based on the premise that understanding the resilience of residents is important to social housing providers and a commonly understood understanding of resilience, both within organisations and across the sector as a whole, will drive more effective decision making.

The model considers resilience as a dynamic process, rather than a fixed trait and is intended to take into account the various different aspects of people’s lives and wellbeing, including factors that housing providers directly and indirectly influence, providing a holistic picture of that one individual’s level of resilience and means to track changes in overall resilience scores as well as in the different components. A greater understanding of these factors will lead to a more effective targeting of resources and identify people at risk of requiring specific and/or intensive support.

Phase 3 is the next stage in this research, which will seek to:

To undertake phase 3 of the resilience project we need the support and partnership of housing associations. Please contact HACT, Head of Research Frances Harkin to express your support.

Let's Talk

To financially support this project, or to find out how you can support in other ways, get in touch with HACT Head of Research Frances Harkin

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