ForHousing | Providing an equitable service

ForHousing | Providing an equitable service

To be truly equitable we have to provide homes with real people in mind, says Nigel Sedman, Executive Director of Homes at ForHousing.

As social landlords when we say that everyone has the right to live in a safe, secure home, we need to ensure that this really does mean everyone, no matter who they are or what their unique set of circumstances is.

As we launch our new five-year strategy at ForHousing, our vision is to positively impact the lives of our social housing tenants. To ensure we are providing an equitable service, this crucially means that we can never take a one-size-fits-all approach. There is no one type of ‘house’ that is safe and secure for all and we need a tailored approach. We know, and it is only reinforced by getting to know our tenants better, that a home is the foundation we all need to build our future on.

Of course, there is no set definition of what a safe home is. People’s lives are complex and layered. There could be health needs, access needs. Someone could be a care leaver or at risk of homelessness. Someone might need just a little bit of extra support to live independently. This is why bespoke, specialist approaches are vital if we are to provide equitable and efficient services.

Not just bricks and mortar
For someone who is at risk of homelessness, a safe home is not just a bricks and mortar building. It also has the right wrap-around support to help them settle into what is perhaps the first consistent place they have ever stayed. It’s support around mental health and identifying aspirations around skills and future job opportunities. This is why ForHousing invested £3.9m into transforming derelict garage sites in Eccles, salford into 39 homes, specifically developed to support people at risk of homelessness.

In addition to aspirational, modern apartments, we developed a specialist service. Each tenant is allocated a dedicated support worker who helps them settle in, improve well-being, and access training and employment services. As a result, to date, eight people have secured permanent jobs.

For someone who is fleeing violence, a home needs to be somewhere anonymous and secure, with support in place from people who will believe you. This is why we have partnered with Salford Foundation Charity to look to develop 35 homes for rent in Eccles specifically for women fleeing domestic abuse.

Tenants at ForHousing’s Jackson Gardens extra care scheme

For someone who is disabled or chronically ill, it is a home that meets their specific needs, and perhaps with a sliding scale of support available so that they can live and thrive independently. This is the ethos of our extra care schemes like Jackson gardens in Knowsley, which is home to 96 tenants and recently marked its first anniversary. 79-year-old resident George told us: “What stands out in my mind is how helpful the staff are…you feel very secure and valued here at Jackson gardens.”

Wider support
We are committed to getting to know people in our communities and providing the type of good quality homes people need. We also have to take into account what’s going on in the wider world in our planning. We’re proud to be working with local authority partners on plans to provide 20 homes in salford and 30 homes in Cheshire West and Chester to Afghan and ukrainian refugees.

At ForHousing it’s not just about numbers, it never is. It’s about people. And this is why we are committed to providing safe, well-maintained, affordable homes that truly meet people’s needs and support them to build a brighter future. Success to us is when people like Amanda* who was homeless, can say “I love living here. I love the independence and freedom.”

* name changed to protect the identity of the tenant.

Header image: Opening event for ForHousing’s Jackson Gardens extra care scheme.

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