14 December, 2020

A Sector Together: The social housing sector and Covid-19

On 16 March 2020, the Government announced a national lockdown; offices closed, home working became the norm and all our futures looked uncertain. Two days later, HACT held its first in what would become a regular series of online meetings with community investment directors. Each shared an update of the actions they had been taking. It made for sobering listening.

Six months on, HACT continues to host those weekly calls, along with regular calls with regional networks of community investment professionals across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

On every call, the dedication and commitment of community investment professionals and their colleagues has been evident. The response from the social housing sector has been fantastic – staff redeployed into frontline roles engaging directly with residents with a huge focus on vulnerability and resilience of residents and communities,. The focus has been on reassurance advice and the benefits of working with community groups, and local government and health officials.

We wanted to capture these activities to ensure the depth and breadth of the response by social housing organisations to the Covid-19 pandemic was marked.

This report collects some of those activities. It includes blog posts from a series we called, The View From, in which colleagues from numerous organisations talk about their response to the crisis.

These responses range from a children’s cooking project in Gloucester to a motorcycle prescription delivery service in Gwent, from activity packs in Cornwall to food vans with built-in wifi in Glasgow.

As well as stories from colleagues we thought it was important that HACT collected data. So in May we launched our impact measures and with support from all of the membership bodies, we invited social housing organisations across the UK to send us their data for nine community-based initiatives every month. These collated figures are included in this report.

Also included in this anthology is a range of blogs written by HACT colleagues about the sector’s response to the crisis and specific issues including mental health and data.

The Covid-19 pandemic is not finished. The crisis is not over. There are still significant risks ahead that social housing organisations will need to navigate.

In working together, evaluating and learning from our experiences, and being bold in our choices, we will be able to realise our roles as anchor based organisations.

HACT will be proud to continue to play a pioneering role in promoting the social purpose of the social housing sector.

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A Sector Together: The social housing sector and Covid-19

PUBLISHED: December 2020

AUTHORS: HACT

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