Mental Health and Housing Anita Birchall, HDN Associate, reflects on housing and mental health and how a single incident can have far-reaching implications. Question: How do you house someone who categorically refuses to sign the tenancy agreement because he believes you are collecting data about him to share with the government? Two things struck me about this problem when it was presented to me last year. One is that he is right; we are collecting data about him to share with the government; and two, there is no way we can grant a tenancy without the requisite paperwork and [...]
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Title of consultation: Equality Objectives Source of consultation: Regulator of Social Housing Date: 25th March 2020 HDN Response to the RSH Consultation on Equality Objectives We have responded to the Regulator for Social Housing’s consultation on its Equality Objectives. Our response sets out the key principles which we believe will fundamentally enhance and contribute to the development of regulation in the housing sector. We believe that housing organisations have an essential role in improving equality outcomes for their communities. This is not just achieved through meeting legal obligations but by working in a cohesive manner, embedding equality activity across a [...]
COVID-19 and HDN Activity 16 March 2020 The continuing spread of the COVID-19 Coronavirus is extremely concerning and, in line with other organisations, has already caused significant disruption to our activity. There is potential for further disruption in the months ahead. This update is designed to pick up some of the common questions that we have been asked in terms of HDN activity. Of course, our approach may change in light of new information or guidance. HDN Office It is business as usual and the HDN office is currently open and staffed. All staff have facilities to work from home, [...]
Title of consultation: Code of Governance Review Source of consultation: National Housing Federation Date: 9th March 2020 HDN’s Response to the NHF Code of Guidance We have responded to the National Housing Federation’s consultation on its revised Code of Guidance. Our response sets out the key principles which we believe will fundamentally enhance and contribute to the development of governance and leadership in the housing sector. We set out the case for greater diversity in board recruitment and composition as well enabling authentic diverse contributions. We believe that the rhetoric surrounding the strong case for boardroom diversity has seldom been [...]
HDN heralds new approach to harness board diversity in the housing sector A Housing Diversity Network (HDN) programme to improve board diversity through targeted role search and retention techniques has been judged a major success. HDN’s interim report highlights the positive outcomes of the first year of Advancing and Harnessing Board Diversity programme piloted with two northern housing associations – Progress Housing Group and Together Housing Group. The programme adopts a new approach to improving board diversity through creative recruitment of a cohort of potential board members from diverse backgrounds. This cohort then undergoes a two-year training and development programme [...]
National Housing Federation Summit 2019: Five Things We Learned By Mushtaq Khan I was at the National Housing Federation Summit in London last week. Here’s a few important takeaways from the two days: Nothing is going to get done in terms of housing (or any other) activity until Brexit is ‘done’. Although booked to appear, the latest new Housing Minister was unable to attend and even though we continue to hear about the housing crisis, policy pronouncements were thin on the ground. Information on what’s the future of the Race Disparity Unit, for example, isn’t at the top of the [...]
Manningham Housing Association CEO Awarded "Hero" Status July 4, 2019 Manningham Housing Association (MHA) chief executive Lee Bloomfield has been named as Mentor of the Year at the prestigious Housing Heroes awards. Organised by leading trade publication Inside Housing in partnership with the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH), the national awards recognise the commitment, passion and hard work of the unsung heroes of the UK housing sector. Lee Bloomfield The ceremony was held as a curtain raiser to Housing 2019, the CIH’s annual conference which was addressed by Theresa May in one her final speeches as Prime Minister. Mr Bloomfield was recognised [...]
CMI Level 5 Award in Coaching and Mentoring We believe that building a culture of diversity and inclusion goes hand in hand with a strong coaching and mentoring culture. We are partnering with Whole Spectrum to offer this course which builds on our existing successful board excellence and staff mentoring programmes. Whole Spectrum have a long track record of delivering coaching and mentoring qualifications within the social housing sector. This programme has a focus on diversity and inclusion and can both support professional growth, organisational development and meet wider diversity goals. Who is the programme suitable for? Existing mentors on [...]
Why are Diversity Initiatives Failing? The past few months have been eye-opening for me. I’ve been working with housing organisations on improving their performance in equality, diversity and inclusion. I used to work in this area, but having had some time away the roles have now been reversed and I’m the trainer and consultant and not the client. It has meant that I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about the amount of work that organisations have done on diversity initiatives and why many people feel that on the whole these initiatives have failed. It’s not as if housing [...]
Culture, Diversity and Inclusion – “Firms are nervous about the threats they face” FCA Discussions about Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) have been taking place in the housing sector for years but despite encouraging positive examples of good practice we're a long way from seeing it being embedded sector-wide. EDI in many organisations is still regarded as an afterthought or troublesome concept or as 'yet another' thing to be added to an ever-growing 'to-do' list. Lack of understanding and a misplaced emphasis on inputs and effort required to tackle EDI issues has for some resulted in a compartmentalised, box-ticking approach [...]