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Housing & Planning

Delivering Estate Maintenance Improvements to Uphold Long-Term Building Safety Standards

In April 2022, the Building Safety Act became law, transforming existing regulations to ensure residential buildings are constructed and maintained safely. In this video Brent O’Halloran, Building Safety Advisor at Clarion Housing shares some of the impacts of the act on the housing sector and the importance of trust between tenants and landlords to deliver effective building safety strategies

Tailoring Engagement Strategies to Involve a Range of Tenants

In 2020, the Government launched the Charter for Social Housing Residents White Paper. This sets out new expectations for housing associations and local authorities to improve tenant engagement and accountability in the social housing system. In this video, Emma Warwick, Head of Service Neighbourhoods & Housing and Steve Shirra, Business Insight & Quality at Hull City Council share how their council has used the pyramid of engagement model to improve tenant engagement in their social housing stock.

Fire Safety Law – A 2022 Update

In April 2021, the Fire Safety Act became law and transformed the regulatory environment of the build environment and fire safety sectors. Dr Nick Williams, Course Leader on the Building Control Surveyor Apprentice Degree and Senior Lecturer at the University of Wolverhampton shares the recent updates to fire safety law in the UK and what these updates mean for building management.

Overcoming Challenges to Design Affordable and Sustainable Social Housing

The Government’s Future Homes and Building Regulations Standard requires all houses built from 2025 to produce 75-80% less carbon emissions than homes delivered under current regulations. We heard from Karen Lythe, Assistant Director of Strategic Housing, and Matthew Clarkson, Design and Construction Services Manager at Doncaster Council about overcoming challenges to deliver the council’s House Build Programme in line with the Future Homes Standard.

Generating Community Support for Sustainable Housing Projects

The UK Government has set the target of achieving net zero by 2050 and the social housing sector will play a key role in meeting this goal. We heard from James Caspell, Neighbourhood Director (Lancaster West and Grenfell Housing Services), at Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, about improving engagement with the local community to gain their support for sustainable housing projects.

Developing a Green Infrastructure Framework to Improve Resident Access to Nature

In November 2020, the Government published the Charter for Social Housing Residents, establishing new standards for social housing providers to deliver safe homes and improve the quality of existing neighbourhoods. In this video, Dr Phil Askew, Director of Landscaping and Placemaking at Peabody, shares how regenerating spaces at Thamesmead through the Living in the Landscape scheme is helping improve resident access to green spaces.

Louisa Steele, Housing First and Homelessness Manager, Standing Together

We’re delighted to welcome Louisa Steele, Housing First and Homelessness Manager, Standing Together, as a new content contributor to MyGovCentral. Louisa has worked across women’s specialist services and the homelessness sector in England for the past twelve years, in both frontline and strategic roles.

Implementing the Housing First Pilot Scheme Nationwide

In 2019, the UK Government pledged £28 million to launch 3 Housing First Pilots as part of a strategy to end rough sleeping by 2027. Mike Hughes, Project Manager of Greater Manchester Housing First, shared with us how the Housing First Pilot has been able to rehouse over 300 people who were homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

Using Innovative Methods to Raise Local Government Funds

In recent years, Local Government budgets are increasingly stretched with the costs and demand for services continually rising. We heard from Joseph Holmes, Executive Director of Resources at West Berkshire Council about how the council has developed the UK’s first Community Municipal Investment to generate funding.

Improving Customer Service – Campaigns at Golding Homes

In November 2020, the Charter for Social Housing Residents, a social housing white paper, defined the responsibility of housing associations to provide residents with a high standard of customer service. We heard from Annemarie Roberts, Director of Operations, Golding Homes about their Customer centred Service Campaign What about Shirley.

How Sevenoaks District Council Have Made Greener Investments to Create Self-Sufficient Income

Local authorities have faced several years of funding cuts, with Covid-19 only exacerbating financial pressures further. Peter Fleming, leader of Sevenoaks District Council shared with us how the council has acted on plans developed before the pandemic to improve council revenue to retain the self-sufficiency the council achieved in 2016.

Generating Income from Uncommercialised Land with Pop Ups

Local authorities have reported a 17% decline in spending on public services since 2010 due to funding cuts. Cornwall Council established the pop up business scheme as a new way to generate income on uncommercialised council assets. This case study explores how the pop ups have generated income for the council and provided support to the local community and businesses.

The Community Trigger: Obstacles to Effective Access and Implementation

Out of 195 councils approached by BBC Panorama, 1 in 5 of them had never held a community trigger. ASB Help provides advice and support to victims of anti-social behaviour in England and Wales. In this article they discuss obstacles to effective access and implementation of the community trigger.

Emergency Planning: How Volunteers can Help Create a Human-centred Approach

The public and volunteers are integral in emergency responses and can fill the gaps in response teams during emergencies. Naomi Phillips, of the Red Cross, outlined how volunteers and the community can help fill these gaps to achieve a human-centred response to crises.

Emergency Planning: Using Data to Improve Support for Vulnerable People in Emergencies

It is important in emergencies to identify vulnerable individuals, as they are often the residents who need the most help. We heard from John Higgins of Tendring District Council about how resident data has been utilised to improve and prepare emergency responses.

Emergency Planning: Preparing the Public and Emergency Responders

The first wave of Covid-19 highlighted the importance of emergency preparedness and the need to improve responses to major incidents. Holly Carter, of Public Health England shared how emergency responders and the public can be best prepared for major incidents and highlighted the importance of using up to date research in planning for emergencies.

Supporting Disadvantaged Families: Local Approaches to Addressing Financial Inclusion

Leeds City Council has been working to promote financial inclusion in the city, addressing poverty and poor life outcomes. We heard from Jo Rowlands, Financial Inclusion Manager at Leeds City Council. They discussed the importance of a strategic, holistic approach to confronting financial exclusion.

Discussing Workforce Challenges in the Housing Sector

The housing sector has been struggling with recruiting new talent and retaining its workforce. Lee Buss-Blair Director of Operations at the housing provider Riverside, shared how his organisation are tackling workforce issues.

In Conversation with Ed Tytherleigh: How can we end Homelessness?

In 2018 the Government announced the Rough Sleeping Strategy pledging to halve rough sleeping by 2022 and end it by 2027. The ‘Everyone In’ initiative during the pandemic showed that this was possible. We spoke to Ed Tytherleigh, Director of Support and Housing at Centrepoint about ways central government, local government and charities can work together to end homelessness.

How Can Local Authorities Work Towards Green Recovery?

Leaders within local authorities must play their part in tackling climate change. This report acts a guide for local authorities, sharing advice on best practice and practical steps to combat climate change. Themes covered include: electric vehicles, town planning, biodiversity and much more.