In October last year, the APPG on Housing and Social Mobility published a report that showed social housing can help people find and keep a job. It was an inquiry to which One Housing provided both written and oral evidence
At One Housing, we are a proud supporter of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Housing and Social Mobility.
The group was founded in 2020 to champion social housing providers that support tenants and residents to secure sustainable livelihoods, and at the tail-end of last year, it published the findings of its Inquiry into Housing and Employment.
Supported by Communities that Work and PlaceShapers, the Inquiry was commissioned to understand the challenges facing working age tenants seeking employment, and to establish clear evidence for what works most effectively and consistently in supporting people to sustain their own livelihoods.
We submitted written evidence to the Inquiry; and our group director of People and Change, Ria Bailes (pictured left), and Employment Services manager Mary Ward were two of over 50 participants to provide oral evidence across 11 panel sessions.
The Inquiry found that the security and affordability of social housing can help people to find and keep a job, highlighting the essential work housing associations do by providing training and employment opportunities.
The report, Improving Opportunities: How to support social housing tenants into sustainable employment, made a number of conclusions:
- Social housing can support the conditions needed to secure and sustain employment
- Devolved, local, and tailored interventions work well in a diverse range of communities
- National employment programmes can work locally through social housing partners
- Labour markets and social housing will benefit from medium- to long-term commitments to work together, supported by the government
- Impact measurement is fundamental
- Social housing can multiply its impact
The report also made two key recommendations. The first is that the sector should have funding certainty over core programmes, and commitment to this funding over time. Supported by government, labour markets and social housing stand to benefit from longer term commitments, and there is merit in thinking more strategically to connect skills, training, and employment support to further and higher education.
The second recommendation is that social housing investment should be linked to employment. This means greater use of tailored, joined up one-to-one support that focuses not only on employment opportunities, but finding out what the individual wants and how to get them into a job and the confidence to do that job.
The big issues
There are, of course, wider issues that need to be addressed such as affordable childcare, digital access, affordable and accessible public transport, and temporary financial support for people as they transition into work.
Responding to the Inquiry’s key recommendations, speakers at the launch event – including Lord Kerslake, chair of Peabody and member of the Housing and Employment Taskforce; and Peter Aldous MP, co-chair of the APPG on Housing and Social Mobility – emphasised the need for funding continuity and certainty for programmes that help tackle unemployment, as well as clarity around the Shared Prosperity Fund.
“We are proud to have been part of the many contributions that helped shape the solutions the Inquiry proposes, which will go on to help thousands secure sustainable employment”
Participants and panellists also discussed the importance of local commissioning, design and delivery for employment support, how to incentivise investment linked to employment, and the value of tailored, one-to-one support for social housing residents.
We are proud to have been part of the many contributions that helped shape the solutions the Inquiry proposes in its report, which will go on to help thousands across the UK secure sustainable employment and progress in work.
Read next: Ongo: What we’ve achieved in 2020
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