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Social Housing Resilience Group Outcome Report

By Lorna Wilson, SFHA Head of Policy and Innovation.

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The Social Housing Resilience Group (SHRG) has published a report which summarises the outputs and outcomes delivered by the SHRG between March and May 2020.

The SHRG has dealt with, and aimed to find solutions to, issues facing social landlords as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, including continuity of key services, PPE, rents and evictions, maintaining financial resilience, empty properties and allocations, domestic abuse, and the challenges caused by multi-storey and high-density buildings.

In response, the SHRG’s work has resulted in:

Continuity of key services: A framework on key worker status was produced which helped to support local decision making.

PPE: An estimate of PPE requirements for the housing association sector by job role was provided to the Scottish Government which helped the government to understand the sector’s scale of need.

Rents and evictions: A statement on rents and evictions was published which provided a clear position on the importance of rents to the social housing sector.

Maintaining financial resilience: A new monthly data collection process was created by the Scottish Housing Regulator, a series of asks was presented to the commercial lending sector, a national Financial Resilience Group was established, and SFHA started a regular member data collection process. The outputs allow for tracking and shared understanding of the financial impacts of the crisis.

Empty properties and allocations: Scottish Government and COSLA produced Coronavirus guidance on allocations for the housing sector, and ALACHO and Public Health Scotland created guidance on cleaning regimes for empty properties to support the process of bringing voids back into use. These guides have helped to bring empty properties back into use.

Domestic abuse: CIH Scotland and Scottish Women’s Aid produced domestic abuse good practice guidance for social landlords which accounted for the impact of Covid-19. This guidance has helped social landlords to respond effectively during the crisis.

Challenges caused by multi-storey and high-density buildings: The Scottish Government produced guidance on social distancing and hygiene advice and information for multi-storeys and high-density flats in order to protect staff and tenants. 

Future work of the SHRG

The SHRG is working on:

  • responding to the Scottish Government’s Framework for Decision Making and Route Map
  • continuing to collect evidence of the impact of the virus on social landlords and possible solutions and responses
  • strategic discussions on the role of social housing in the economic and social recovery of communities and at national level

You can read the full report and find all links to guidance mentioned in this article by following this link.

To find out more about the SHRG, please contact Lorna Wilson, SFHA Head of Policy and Innovation, lwilson@sfha.co.uk

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