Advancing housing priorities

While 2024 brings a new year, with new opportunities, there are still plenty of challenges facing the housing sector. Here, Advance’s Chief Executive, Julie Layton, shares what she believes are the key priorities housing providers need to acknowledge in 2024 and how addressing these will allow for positive change.

The need for more affordable housing is continuing to grow across the UK. But it is important that this growth is matched with increased recruitment into the sector that will ensure organisations are supported in delivering services to residents by skilled and passionate individuals.

Having the right people, in the right role, with the right set of skills and support can be integral in ensuring residents receive the service we all strive to deliver. Therefore it’s vital that when organisations are looking to hire new additions, they have thorough processes in place, from advertising the role through to hiring, training and future support.

This need of having the right personnel in place to provide services and support to residents is even more important for organisations like Advance that offer tailored solutions for people with disabilities to be able to live independently.

With our 50th anniversary approaching, we have plenty of experience in providing support to individuals who benefit from our expertise. But raising more awareness of the need for high-quality supported housing must be prioritised in 2024.

At Advance, we know that improving access to specialised support that considers the diverse needs of all individuals, especially those with learning disabilities and mental health conditions, will be paramount. Increased support for specialist housing providers would mean that more people would be able to thrive in their own homes – something that every one of our residents deserves.

Aside from bigger support for specialist provision, we’re also calling for an increased focus on the overall sector’s core purpose – to deliver social value.

Housing providers were established to deliver affordable quality homes. People living in these homes should feel they’re part of a safe and inclusive neighbourhood, where their wellbeing is prioritised. Yet there are increasing reports that this isn’t the case, with complaints on maintenance and repairs rising and residents often struggling to access support.

Every social housing organisation, whether specialist or otherwise, should have adequate support in place for its residents, with proper processes in place to deal with resident queries and feedback. For housing associations to thrive in 2024 and beyond, it’s crucial for us to recognise the importance of continually providing social value while also ensuring we have the team and specialist support available to those who need it.