APPG on Housing and Social Mobility: “Improving Opportunities: How to support social housing tenants into sustainable employment”

10 Nov 2020

We are a proud supporter of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Housing and Social Mobility.

The group was founded in 2020 to champion social housing providers that support tenants and residents to secure sustainable livelihoods and it recently published the findings of its Inquiry into Housing and Employment.

The Inquiry was supported by Communities that Work and PlaceShapers and was commissioned to understand the challenges facing working age tenants seeking employment, and to establish clear evidence for what works most effectively and consistently in supporting people to sustain their own livelihoods.

We submitted written evidence to the Inquiry and Ria Bailes, Group Director of People & Change, and Mary Ward, Employment Services Manager, were part of over 50 participants to give oral evidence to the Inquiry across 11 panel sessions. The Inquiry found that the security and affordability of social housing can help people to find and keep a job, highlighting the essential work housing associations do by providing training and employment opportunities.

The report made a number of conclusions:

  • Social housing can support the conditions needed to secure and sustain employment.
  • Devolved, local, and tailored interventions work well in a diverse range of communities.
  • National employment programmes can work locally through social housing partners.
  • Labour markets and social housing will benefit from medium to long-term commitments to work together, supported by Government.
  • Impact measurement is fundamental.
  • Social housing can multiply its impact.

The report also made a number of recommendations for action from various stakeholders:

  • The sector needs funding certainty over key programmes, and commitment to this funding over time.

Supported by government, labour markets and social housing stand to benefit from longer term commitments. There is merit in thinking more strategically to connect skills, training, and employment support, to further and higher education.

Link social housing investment to employment.

Greater use of tailored, joined up one-to-one support which focuses not only on employment opportunities, but also finding out what the individual wants and how to actually get them into a job and to give them confidence in their jobs.

  • Wider issues need to be addressed: affordable childcare; digital access, affordable and accessible public transport temporary financial support for people as they transition into work.
  • Responding to the Inquiry’s key recommendations, speakers at the launch event, including Lord Kerslake, chair of Peabody & member of the Housing & Employment Taskforce, and Peter Aldous MP, co-chair of the APPG on Housing and Social Mobility, emphasised the need for funding continuity and certainty for programmes that help tackle unemployment, and clarity about the Shared Prosperity Fund.
  • Participants and panellists also discussed the importance of local commissioning, design and delivery for employment support, how to incentivise investment linked to employment and the value of tailored, one-to-one support for social housing residents.

We are proud to have been part of the many contributions that helped shape the solutions the Inquiry proposes in its report which will go on to help thousands across the UK secure sustainable employment and progress in work.