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Together Housing responds to inquiry into housing tenure and unemployment

Together Housing responds to inquiry into housing tenure and unemployment

Housing organisations are central in promoting social mobility in communities but need local and national government support to make real changes. 

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That’s our response to a parliamentary inquiry looking at the relationship between social housing and employment. 

The national inquiry, led by the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Housing and Social Mobility, asks why social housing tenants are more likely to be in lower paid and unstable employment than people living in other tenures. 

In addition to the employment support we give all our tenants, we provide several specialist employability support programmes through our charity Newground Together and Pendelton Together partnership. One such project is More Positive Together, which delivers sessions bespoke to the needs of employers and those seeking support, often working with employers to job-match. This has meant that participants can be supported from referral, through application, into work and then to progress, helping them to sustain not just gain employment. 

We believe that central government should be supporting similar programmes nationwide. 

We are also calling on the government to fund skill development that works for individuals and employers in terms of times, content and flexibility and provides for those with support or caring needs. 

Steve Close, Chief Executive of Together Housing Group, said: “We believe that housing associations need to be included as major players in the planning, support and delivery of social mobility models and services. 

Housing associations are key to employability because where you live affects your employment chances.As anchor institutions in areas identified as needing priority employability support, we have a crucial part to play in the post Covid-19 response to re-balance the economy.  

Together Housing’s model means we don’t just work with our residentsbut work across the community. By levelling the playing field, social mobility barriers are removed. In order to achieve a real transformation, however, there needs to be a policy response from policy makers at a national, regional and local governance level. 

The APPG on Housing and Social Mobility is supported by Communities that Work and PlaceShapers, with additional support from the housing sector ‘GEM’ programme. 

Managing Director of Communities that Work, Lynsey Sweeney said: “This nationwide inquiry marks an important milestone in the social housing sector’s efforts to tackle the employment and earnings gap that exists between social housing and other tenures. 

“The housing sector invests over £70m each year in employment support and services, making them the second biggest contributor to employment support in the UK after the Department for Work and Pensions. Harnessing the sectors’ potential is critical if we are to tackle this employment gap. 

“We must understand the real issues from the perspective of all of those involved in delivering and receiving employment support, which is why we need a mix of sector experts and real “lived examples” of how landlords can help to close the employment and earnings gap in the communities that they serve.” 

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