On 20th April, Communities that Work and the National Housing Federation joined 16 Directors from social housing – together covering all regions of England – at a Roundtable discussion with senior colleagues from the Cities and Local Growth Unit, to discuss all aspects of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. The UKSPF will begin in March 2022 and will commit to an average £1.5bn annual spend to ‘level up and create opportunity across the UK for people and places’.
The Roundtable set out to discuss the potential for partnerships, and the opportunities which lie ahead to target UKSPF effectively in the communities that need it most. Social Housing colleagues shared many examples of how the social housing sector is central to the economic recovery of their areas and is focussed on employment for local people.
Colleagues from the Cities and Local Growth Unit were clearly engaged, impressed with the breadth of employment services undertaken and keen to understand how the UKSPF can work best across the social housing sector.
Whilst a broad range of support is currently delivered by the social housing sector into the communities we serve, Communities that Work see the UKSPF as a key lever going forward, to deliver longer-term prosperity for families, households, and neighbourhoods, and to truly ‘build back better’. At Communities that Work, our position is that the social housing sector will be most effective on UKSPF, and best able to leverage operational and (potential match) funding partnerships, with a direct and continued opportunity to engage in the UKSPF investment framework, which is due to be published in the Spring of this year.
We know that the sector can open the door to residents, reaching out to people and places, aim for prosperity, and use long term and trusted relationships with communities. We continue to actively engage with the UKSPF team and will keep our members closely appraised of further influencing and engagement work in this area, over the coming months.