10 September, 2020

Places After The Pandemic: Exploring social landlords’ role in the future of places

The challenges we have faced since March 2020 have been without parallel. At the same time, the responses we’ve witnessed – whether through mutual aid groups, street- based WhatsApp groups, or local foodbanks – have highlighted the very best in people and local communities.

Similarly, housing associations, and their staff, have responded with speed, humanity and skill, with hundreds of thousands of welfare calls, advice and support sessions and direct financial assistance.

In many ways, though, the hard work starts now.

No one knows how challenging the coming months and years will be. We do know there were already too many people struggling to stay afloat before the pandemic began. And this riding tide of poverty is likely to affect thousands more people, the majority of whom will live in our communities.

What role can, and should, social housing organisations play in the recovery and reset of place, not only economically, but also socially? This is the broad question that PlaceShapers and HACT set out to find some answers to with a research project we launched in April.

The key themes that emerged from that research are interconnected and all speak to the role that social housing organisations play as community anchors.

As asset-based organisations, we are in a unique position. We work in place for the long-term. We have the capacity to affect the recovery and reset of communities across the UK now and in the future.

There is much that we have already done to assist this recovery. And there is more we need to do.

There are significant risks ahead of us that we will need to navigate. By working in collaboration, by evaluating and learning from our experience, by being bold in our choices, we will be able to accelerate change, maximise our resources and achieve greater impact as place-based organisations.

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Places After The Pandemic: Exploring social landlords’ role in the future of places

PUBLISHED: September 2020

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