Social housing staff are becoming increasingly larger to fill the gap in support
- 10 Mar
A study has found that welfare reform, lack of housing supply and the increasing gap between income and housing costs is changing the levels of support for social housing tenants.
The Frontline Futures study has been commissioned by the Chartered Institute of Housing and Wheatley Group and has said that "in many cases" housing staff want support to help them cope with the "fear, distress and suicide threats" from tenants, reports Inside Housing.
Tenants who responded to the survey also said they would to see even more of their housing officers.
The study has been carried out by De Montfort University's Centre for Comparative Housing Research and saw 1,054 housing professionals and tenants respond to online surveys. The research has found that the roles of frontline housing officers are becoming increasingly varied and wide scopes of tasks are incorporated under the title "housing officer". This includes roles such as management, rents, repairs, support, neighbourhoods, governance, tenant involvement and organisation leadership.
Judy Waugh, CIH director of membership and education, said: "This research shows that frontline housing professionals are providing hugely valuable services - and also demonstrates the pressure they are under from welfare reform and the housing crisis. It's clear that the profession is changing, so it's vital that employers invest in training, education and support to give their staff all the tools they need to do the best job they can. Ultimately, ensuring housing professionals have the right skills is crucial if organisations want to continue supporting residents and investing in their communities."
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Responding to the DWP Consultation: Housing Benefit Reform - Supported Housing "It was well-run, in a good location, and very useful. I've only one suggestion; as the session went on it would perhaps have been useful for bullet points of general agreement about what should be in the sector response to be displayed and added to as the session went on, maybe on a flip chart. Regarding your response paper, I particularly like the answer you give to question 9. In fact the general: "if it ain't broke don't fix it" response could be pushed harder." M.P. - Adref Ltd