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Places after the pandemic

Posted on 23 September 2020

New report says COVID-19 offers housing associations a ‘once-in-a-lifetime opportunity’ to deliver more for residents and communities.

The PlaceShapers and Housing Associations’ Charitable Trust (HACT) Places After The Pandemic report is based on data gathered from more than 100 housing associations, including Homes for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough partners Cross Keys Homes, Flagship Group and Longhurst Group.

Cross Keys Homes’ Chief Executive and PlaceShapers Board Member, Claire Higgins, said: “Together [the PlaceShapers members] made such a difference in helping those who need us most in the utmost challenging and uncertain times.”

The report examines how housing associations adapted during the national lockdown and how they played a key role as community anchors. It also explores how social landlords are reviewing their roles now, and in the future.

It says the ‘very local level’ partnerships with community groups formed to support residents and communities during lockdown need to continue and may result in some housing associations switching to more community-focused operations. The same goes for partnerships set up between housing associations – these will help accelerate change, stretch resources and have greater impact.

The report adds that the pandemic highlighted the importance of creating multi-use spaces in homes – for work, rest and play. Social housing providers need to consider these carefully, and deliver them efficiently and cost effectively, it says.