BSHR recommendation 1

Recommendation 1: ‘Every housing association, and the sector as a whole, should refocus on their core purpose and deliver against it.’ 
Read recommendation 1 in full in the Better Social Housing Review.  
Key actions suggested by the independent BSHR panel include: 

  • Testing your organisation’s performance against its core purpose – providing decent, safe homes for those who can’t afford the market.  
  • Understanding and challenging the stigma and discrimination faced by residents, especially those with disabilities and those from black and minority ethnic communities. This is to ensure all residents experience equal housing outcomes, such as equal access to good quality homes and customer experience. 

The NHF and CIH’s work so far 

Our planned work on this recommendation is set out in our action plan.  

Case studies and best practice 

The NHF and CIH are sharing case studies of our members that are focusing on their core purpose – good quality homes and customer service. In particular, we will be publishing case studies from housing associations that are leading on: core purpose, training or resident voice. If you are doing work in any of these key areas, please let us know. 
We hope these will provide opportunities for learning housing associations that want to revisit their own organisation’s core purpose.  
We are running events and webinars related to all of the recommendations from the BSHR, where we will also share examples of best practice. 

Organisational culture 

Structural inequalities, and in particular race, were a core theme throughout the independent BSHR’s report.  
The NHF and CIH’s Working Group on Structural Inequalities and Race in the BSHR recommend that for organisations to truly provide good quality homes and customer service to all residents, regardless of their ethnic background or other protected characteristics, they need to take proactive action to overcome structural barriers. For example, looking at cultural and language barriers that may make it harder for someone to receive good customer service.  
At the NHF and CIH we have a number of tools, resources and programmes of work designed to support housing associations to challenge structural inequalities and drive culture change. This includes: 

  • NHF EDI Data tool – senior leaders in housing associations can use this to review and think about their organisational culture.  NHF 2020 Code of Governance – housing association boards can use this to place an increased focus on the diversity of their staff and accountability to residents.
  • Roadmap to equality: an inclusive future - A set of resources for boards to drive equality, diversity and inclusion within their organisation, including our Chairs’ Challenge.
  • National EDI networks for CEO’s and EDI professionals -These are spaces for leaders to explore their role in developing more inclusive workplaces, hear from sector experts and discuss challenges and best practice with colleagues. 

Learn more about our full programme of work on equality, diversity and inclusion.
Read about the other six BSHR recommendations