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New COVID-19 Housing and Employment Taskforce launched

A new COVID-19 Housing and Employment Taskforce has launched, bringing key leaders from the housing and employment sectors together to work with government and policy makers, to ensure that the sectors – and the people and communities they serve – are best supported during the COVID-19 epidemic. 

 As the COVID-19 epidemic continues to take hold in the UK and across the globe, the impacts are being felt heavily across the labour market and in the housing and employment sectors. Many social housing residents were already facing challenges such as lack of work, insecure employment or low income and are particularly vulnerable as the economy slows down.

The new taskforce will provide a joined-up focus on employment-related solutions for social housing residents who have been impacted by COVID-19. By working with and consulting Government, the taskforce will also help to facilitate clear lines of communication between the sectors, government and policy makers.

The taskforce is comprised of key figures from the housing and employment sectors including Lord Kerslake, chair of Peabody and former head of the civil service. This cross-sector collaboration is chaired by Lynsey Sweeney, Managing Director of Communities that Work. The DWP is a consultation partner.

Its members are: Lord Kerslake, Communities that Work, the National Housing Federation (NHF), National Federation of ALMOs (NFA), Centre for Excellence in Community Investment (CECI) , Learning and Work Institute (LWI), Employment Related Services Association (ERSA), Institute of Employability Professionals (IEP), Impetus and the Institute for Employment Studies.

Talking of the launch of the taskforce, Lynsey Sweeney said:

“We know that so many social housing residents were already feeling the economic pressure before COVID-19 entered our lives. This new reality risks providing an even more challenging backdrop to some of the UK’s most vulnerable communities. This new taskforce brings together the housing and employment sectors, to work with government and policy makers, ensuring that the right support is provided to those in need during this national emergency.”

Commenting on the importance of the taskforce, Lord Kerslake said:

“It is vital that social housing tenants are not left behind in the UK’s fight against the virus, and that when the UK emerges from COVID-19, we all emerge together. This taskforce will play a critical role in ensuring that social housing landlords, ALMOs, government and policy makers have ‘one mind, one voice’ in the response to COVID-19.”

For press enquiries, contact Jenny Riddell Carpenter via jenny.riddell-carpenter@becg.com

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