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New Housing and Employment APPG launched to tackle unemployment in social housing

A new All Party Parliamentary Group has been formed to tackle unemployment and in-work poverty in the social housing sector.

The group launches as new research by the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ, July 2018) revealed that households living in social housing are four times more likely to be workless than those living in private housing. This new APPG will be focused on advancing the role that social landlords can play in promoting social mobility, employment, and supporting in work progression for social tenants.

At a meeting at the Houses of Parliament on 9 July, Conservative backbencher, Peter Aldous MP, was voted chair, Labour’s Gareth Snell was voted co-chair. Other vice-chairs of the group include Jack Dromey MP, Lord Richard Best, Andy Slaughter MP, and David Drew MP.

The cross-party group of MPs and Peers will now meet in the autumn for its first session. Secretariat support is being provided jointly by Communities that Work (Communities that Work) and PlaceShapers – two leading membership groups in the social housing sector.

Speaking of the new group, chair Peter Aldous MP said “Improving employment prospects, and in work progression, for social housing tenants is vital if we are to tackle poverty and improve livelihoods in the social housing sector. This new group will help to champion change, and shine a light on the work that housing associations do to help social housing tenants – and their communities – into work.”  

Communities that Work Chair, Jayne Entwistle, commented: “This new APPG provides a powerful platform for Communities that Work and its members to advance the work that social housing providers do in helping people into work. Closing the unemployment gap in social housing is vital, and this new group brings together those most passionate about seeing change in the sector”.

PlaceShapers Board member Matt Campion (CEO of Shepherds Bush Housing Group) said: “As the voice of community focused housing associations we know the support we give our residents on employment is life-changing. In five years, we have directly helped at least 60,000 residents into jobs and training. This, combined with the homes we provide, provides the foundations of the strong healthy communities of which we are part.

“In a fast-changing political environment, the cross-party commitment to this work is testimony to its importance. Our role in the APPG forms part of our 2018 national campaign We Care which highlights the impact – economic and social – made by additional services offered by our members.” 

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