We’re working with our members to promote great quality, exemplified by building safety and customer service – and some of our key achievements in 2019.
We’ve called for the support our members need to make buildings safe now, pressing the government to fund safety remediation work and sharing the challenges you face in carrying out vital remediation works. We’ve worked closely with the government and industry to address concerns around fire doors, cladding, and mortgage valuations in high-rise blocks. We’re now highlighting the scale and complexity of remediation needed, and urging the government to coordinate and fund vital work to remove cladding and replace fire doors.
We’re also working with you to shape the building safety system of the future. We submitted a sector response to the Building a Safer Future consultation and shared your views on issues such as sprinkler provision. As part of our wider work on culture change, we’ve been working with cross-industry groups to design a new competency framework. This will help housing associations take proactive steps to define and understand the skills, training and experience requirements for the new regulatory regime.
In 2019, we convened a new national member group to guide our work on building safety. We’re also supporting our members to share knowledge, through events with the Local Government Association and our building safety conversation in November.
We have been making the case for more community involvement in the design of places – something that our Great Places Commission highlighted in its final recommendations.
We worked with the government to promote the importance of good design in mixed-tenure schemes in response to concerns about segregation – and this was reflected in the new national design guide, published in October. And through our media influence, we’ve been able to share the positive work housing associations already do in this area.
We supported the Town and Country Planning Association’s Healthy Homes Act, and began work with our members on a sector response to the Future Homes Standard. Following feedback from our members, we’re also preparing for an important piece of work on housing associations’ role in tackling the climate crisis.
More than 450 people from 250 housing associations participated in our award-winning innovation programme, Creating our Future. The programme generated five ideas to help address big challenges such as improving the quality of homes, tackling poverty, ending homelessness and adapting homes as people get older. All of the ideas are progressing, with three turning into new businesses, recruiting their first full-time staff in 2019.
We also laid the groundwork for the next, even more ambitious phase of this work to embed innovation – Housing Futures. This unique programme is designed to raise the profile of innovation across our sector, and provide new skills and experience for housing association staff. It clearly positions our sector as being at the forefront of driving innovation through collaboration.