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New parliamentary inquiry on housing and employment

A new parliamentary Inquiry launched today (Monday 9 March 2020) to tackle the employment and earnings gap in social housing. It is inviting all organisations and individuals with insights and expertise into these issues to submit written evidence to the Inquiry by 29 May 2020

The national Inquiry, led by the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for  Housing and Social Mobility, will run from March to September 2020. As well as collecting written submissions and oral evidence in parliament, the Inquiry will host regional workshops to receive evidence and input from residents, experts and stakeholders.

The APPG on Housing and Social Mobility is supported by Communities that Work and PlaceShapers, with additional support from the housing sector ‘GEM’ programme. The UK Collaborative Centre for Housing Evidence (CaCHE) is the research partner for the Inquiry.

The Inquiry is seeking submissions from organisations, communities and individuals who can contribute insights to the following five questions:

  1. What is the relationship between social housing and employment?
  2. Why are social housing tenants more likely to be in lower paid and unstable employment than people living in other tenures?
  3. How can the social housing sector be the catalyst for closing the social housing employment and earnings gap?
  4. What can Government do to support the social housing sector and tenants, and to reduce the social housing employment and earnings gap?
  5. What lessons can we learn for future employment innovation that will embed tenants and engage with them fully and effectively?

Managing Director of Communities that Work, Lynsey Sweeney said:This nationwide Inquiry marks an important milestone in the social housing sector’s efforts to tackle the employment and earnings gap that exists between social housing and other tenures.

Harnessing the sector’s potential is critical if we are to tackle this employment gap. The housing sector is the UK’s second biggest contributor to employment support after the DWP, investing £70 million each year. We must understand the real issues from the perspective of all of those involved in delivering and receiving employment support, including real examples of how Communities that Work members and other housing providers help to close the employment and earnings gap in the communities that they serve.

PlaceShapers chair Sinéad Butters said: “PlaceShapers’ members are community anchors – we are close to the people who can be hardest to reach. We want our residents to always have equal chances to everyone else. That’s why we invest in employment services as we see the difference it makes to someone’s life and life chances.

“In five years, we’ve helped 10,000 of our residents into jobs. We do this by tackling the root causes of unemployment or underemployment which can drive in-work poverty. The insight from this Inquiry will help our members do even more to close the earnings gap.”

The deadline for written submissions is 29 May 2020. For more information, including details of how to submit your response, please visit

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