Understanding your industry: Social Housing

  • In the coming months, decisions relating to Brexit have the potential to deliver significant changes to the political and economic context we are all operating in; this will affect many industries – including the social housing sector.

    At Blue Octopus, we understand how essential industry knowledge and up to date market information is to stay relevant in an ever-changing, shifting world. With over 10 years’ experience, we are dedicated to driving progression – for both our clients, and their potential talent.

    The current uncertainty, both around the long-term outcome and the short-term risks, in itself makes the operating environment for Social Housing associations increasingly difficult. Whilst there may be challenging times ahead, there are however, positive changes happening in 2019 and beyond.

    The impact of immigration
    An estimated 28% of skilled labour in the London construction industry comes from Europe. Although we cannot simply presume that these workers would disappear overnight following Brexit, proposed restrictions on free movement and an immigration policy based on ‘high skills’ only would almost certainly cause recruitment issues. Combined with rising construction costs, such an outcome will certainly fare badly on delivering the large number of new homes the country vitally needs.


    Housing associations must consider and plan for how an economic downturn may affect tenants following Brexit
    A No Deal exit and/or associated economic downturn could have a significant impact on tenants’ circumstances, employment and incomes. Housing associations might need to provide more support for tenants struggling with sudden changes in circumstances, as well as plan for potential increases in voids, arrears and bad debts. Communication with tenants will be important, particularly if a No Deal impacts services provided by housing associations or others.


    The Accord Group has said it will be the first UK housing association to build plastic free homes
    In attempts to reduce the amount of the material used during construction, Accord Group has announced plans to become the first in the UK to build virtually plastic free houses. Currently, the building sector is responsible for more than 60% of resource use in Europe, with more than 30-50% of material use taking place in the housing construction sector.


    Inquiry commences into long-term delivery of affordable housing
    The Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee recently launched a new inquiry to examine the long-term delivery of social and affordable rented housing. The first session is due to investigate the effectiveness of government’s current strategies to boost affordable rented housing provision. It will also set out the key themes of the inquiry and investigate how funding and planning policy can support social housing providers to increase capacity, as well as looking at the impact of Right To Buy on the wider sector.


    Spending Review saw housing reduced from “the number one domestic priority” to barely rating a mention
    With no commitment to social housing in the Spending Review, a leading offsite construction boss warns government that public-private sector collaboration is now crucial to get anywhere near a 300,000-homes-a-year target. Despite government pledges – made just months ago – to make housing the “number one” domestic priority, the face-value Spending Review offered nothing to the social housing sector – not even a hint of reforming Right To Buy councils were counting on to boost building plans.


    The Great Places Commission sets out its 10 recommendations for UK housing following research in the North and Midlands
    As part of the National Housing Federation’s (NHF) Great Places Report, housing professionals visited towns across the North and Midlands to draw key recommendations on how great places to live can be developed across the country. The report, which was released on 2 August, recommends an ambitious new national regeneration strategy, the introduction of mandatory good design standards and local cross-sector partnerships for housing associations, among other things.


    Research shows that Britons strongly endorse social housing
    A survey of 2,181 adults, carried out on behalf of the Chartered Institute of Housing, has revealed that 73% believe there is a housing crisis in Britain. While 52% of the public backed increases to housing supply generally, 58% supported the building of more social housing. Additionally, 76% of those asked believed social housing to be important, with 68% also adding that it helps to tackle poverty. A positive endorsement all round.


Find out more

At Blue Octopus, we understand that getting recruitment and HR practices right is simultaneously more important and more challenging than ever before. Attracting the right talent for your organisation is essential – we all need good people, especially in today’s ever-changing world.

Blue Octopus listens to the market and we use our knowledge, experience and insights to develop smart solutions and next generation technology to address end users’ needs.

To find out how we can help change the way you connect with the best talent within the Social Housing sector and how we can support your organisation both now and, in the future, get in touch today or book a demo.

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