Solutions from housing and government – latest blog on APPG
This is the fourth blog in a series about the All-Party Parliamentary Inquiry into Housing and Employment. This Inquiry aims to tackle the employment and earnings gap in social housing and is calling for evidence in response to five questions. This blog looks at questions 3 and 4.
- Question 3 (Q3): How can the social housing sector be the catalyst for closing the social housing employment and earnings gap?
- Question 4 (Q4): What can Government do to support the social housing sector and tenants, and to reduce the social housing employment and earnings gap?
The first two questions posed by the Inquiry are seeking evidence about the problem i.e. the size and cause of the social housing earnings and employment gap. Q3 and Q4 both seek solutions. The key difference between these questions is who is responsible for these solutions – Q3 is focused at the housing sector whereas Q4 looks at Government. We also want to hear examples of good practice from other stakeholders working with communities so employment, training, charities and other agencies are encouraged to contribute too.
If you are a housing provider or working with the housing sector, tell us in response to Q3 how you are tackling the social housing gap. What interventions have worked best, for whom and why? Consider some or all of the following points in your response, based on your experience and knowledge:
- What employment support do you offer/have you offered and how does this get more residents into sustainable employment?
- What outcomes does this achieve, and how do you measure these?
- What partnerships are needed to successfully deliver these services? These include internal relationships with e.g. maintenance teams, and with external contractors to create job opportunities and training.
- What approaches and practice provide good social returns on investment? How can this impact best be measured and recorded on a consistent basis?
- In your view, how can these approaches be adapted and scaled up to work nationally, or in different contexts?
We also want to hear about the sector and its support for providers to get people into jobs. How do we best deliver this, so that all housing providers get more tenants and residents into good quality, sustained employment. A big question is whether all housing associations should be engaged in employment support for working age tenants as part of a core household support offer.
Q4 covers similar ground but is looking for evidence about the role of local and national government specifically in facilitating your approach. What can different tiers of government do to support the social housing sector and tenants to reduce the employment and earnings gap?
We want to hear both about successful initiatives with government, and to learn lessons as to why other interventions were less effective. How much of an opportunity is there to innovate and experiment locally? How should these projects be resourced to enable sufficient monitoring and evaluation?
As our blog on the APPG in the era of Covid-19 outlined, all the original questions of the Inquiry remain but will now need to be considered in light of the pandemic. As well as the above points, what lessons can we learn from good practice by housing providers that may help overcome the issues caused by Covid-19’s impact on the economy? How can government build on its interventions during the lockdown, to aid recovery while supporting the labour market, housing security and ability to pay?
The housing sector and its partners in local, regional and national government as well as charities and research, employment organisations all have valuable insights to help make this Inquiry a success. Your views and expertise will help shape the evidence we need to build policy and practice to help our communities as we emerge from Covid-19.
The deadline for your recent evidence is now 30 June 2020. For details of how to submit your evidence, refer to this document or contact us if you have any questions.