Since April, the NHF has been working with Communities that Work and other organisations such as the Institute for Employment Studies, Centre for Excellence in Community Investment and the National Federation of ALMOs to drive the housing and employment sector’s response to the coronavirus outbreak.
The Covid-19 Housing and Employment Taskforce brings together key leaders from the sectors, to provide a joined-up focus on employment-related solutions for social housing residents who have been affected by the coronavirus outbreak.
Taskforce members including the NHF, Communities that Work and leaders from nine housing associations, met the Minister for Employment, Mims Davies, and Will Quince, the Minister for Welfare Delivery, on 18 May.
The Ministers heard first-hand from the sector about the community recovery work underway and understood the crucial role of housing in rebuilding local economies and households. It's clear that the DWP sees social housing as a lever for economic recovery, both in terms of construction and maintenance and in reaching out to vulnerable communities to support them long term.
The NHF are working with the DWP and other taskforce members to move forward on this agenda, and we hope to see a firm commitment from DWP for housing-led employment support and a youth job guarantee scheme, very soon.
This roundtable was organised and chaired by Communities that Work which champions the role of social housing providers in employment. In order to shape the longer-term policy agenda, Communities that Work and its partners, CaChe and PlaceShapers are supporting a parliamentary inquiry about housing and employment. The All-Party Parliamentary Inquiry into Housing and Employment, led by the APPG on Housing and Social Mobility, aims to tackle the employment and earnings gap between social housing residents and people in other tenures.
The Inquiry is asking both for evidence of the gap in employment and earnings for social housing residents, and solutions for tackling this. It also wants to learn how the voice of residents’ lived experience was heard and engaged with in employment support.