From 1 October 2020, social housing innovation agency HACT is asking UK housing organisations to adopt a new set of impact measures.
HACT says that by recording and sharing their impact measures, organisations will aid it in collating the support social housing organisations are providing to their residents during what continues to be an uncertain time.
“We recognise the staff time continues to be stretched and appreciate the ongoing participation of organisations in this project,” said HACT.
“We recognise that these new set of measures involve additional categories and stress that organisations are welcome to send in partial returns.
“Our preference is to receive incomplete returns from organisations who have recorded only the figures that are relevant to them.”
The new set of measures have been developed in collaboration with community investment colleagues.
The new impact measures
As before, there are nine key impact measures that HACT is inviting organisations to record, with some additional information for four of them.
They are as follows:
1. Number of welfare calls made: As with the previous impact measures, record any calls made to residents about their welfare. These are more likely to be check-in calls to residents to see whether they need any additional support, rather than in-depth advice or guidance, which are covered in other measures. The measure includes calls made to those in sheltered schemes or as part of ongoing befriending services.
2. Number of residents on Universal Credit: Record the total number of residents on Universal Credit, and indicate whether this is higher, lower, or the same as last month. This figure is a running total which may fluctuate up or down over the months, or remain the same, so it’s important to capture both increases and decreases.
3. Financial support: Organisations should record three types of financial support that they provide:
- Amount distributed through direct financial support in the past month: Direct financial support to residents, through hardship funds, rent relief funds, fuel vouchers, or other means
- Amount distributed to community and voluntary groups over the past month: Financial support the organisation has provided to community and voluntary groups and local charities
- Number of community and voluntary groups supported financially over the past month: Organisations or groups supported financially during the past month
4. Number of food interventions made in the past month: As with the previous measures, record any support given to residents about food – including delivering food parcels the organisation’s staff have prepared – and making referrals to food banks.
5. Overall number of people supported with advice, guidance, and support in the past month: As well as capturing the total number of people supported with advice and guidance over each month, HACT is also asking organisations to provide numbers of people supported around the following five areas:
- Money and debt
- Welfare and benefits advice
- Employment, education, and training
- Mental wellbeing (including loneliness)
6. Total number of residents identified in arrears: The total number of residents in arrears, and whether this is higher, lower, or the same as last month.
7. Number of residents supported into employment and training: So that community investment colleagues can apply social value metrics to this impact measure, HACT is asking organisations to record the different types of employment and training support provided. It is requesting the numbers for:
- Residents supported into full-time employment
- Residents supported into part-time employment
- Residents given employment training
- Residents supported into apprenticeships
- Residents supported into volunteering
8. Number of young people supported over the past month: The number of young people who have been supported in any way, including with activities, employment and training, or mental wellbeing.
9. Number of residents who feel in control: As well as social value metrics for employment, HACT says community investment colleagues also it us to include a social value metric for mental health and wellbeing.
This impact measure requires a before and after survey. HACT says it is including this measure now to see whether organisations are able to integrate this survey into their new and existing projects.
In order to claim a social value figure for supporting residents with mental health, HACT has chosen a social value measure called ‘Feel in control of life’ – this requires staff to ask residents to answer the following statement: “I feel that what happens to me is outside of my control” at the beginning of a project, and at least three months into the project.
Residents have four possible responses available to them:
• Not often
To record a social value figure, residents’ answers must change between taking the ‘before’ survey and the ‘after’ survey.
Residents must move from either “often” or “sometime” to “not often” or “never”. HACT says the earliest it would be able to see any results to this question would be in February 2021.
The impact measures have been endorsed by:
- Community Housing Cymru
- Communities that work
- Northern Housing Consortium
- Newydd HA
- Irwell Valley Homes
HACT says to use its revised form to submit monthly returns.
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