Places After The Pandemic

Covid 19 could offer a once in a lifetime opportunity for housing associations to deliver more with their communities, change how homes are built and adapt services, according to PlaceShapers’ and HACT’s Places After the Pandemic report.

As a PlaceShapers member, Bernicia took part in the report, along with more than 100 other organisations. The report shows how housing associations like us adapted during the national lockdown and played a key role as community anchors. It explores how social landlords are fundamentally reviewing their work and their role in places as we look to the future.

Places After The Pandemic launched on Thursday 17 September at a seminar to discuss the findings and the next steps.

Bernicia fast forwarded £200,000 from its charitable Bernicia Foundation to eight local authorities, ensuring the money was delivered swiftly to organisations working on the ground with local people and communities hit hard by the pandemic.

The report shows that, overall, in the first three months of lockdown, a sample of 42 PlaceShapers members made 300,500 welfare calls, gave advice and guidance to 57,000 people and organised 50,000 food deliveries. Members forged new partnerships with people and organisations in places to make sure support was there for everyone who needed it.

PlaceShapers Chair Matthew Walker said: “The crisis has reinforced our sense of place and the value we place on our homes and neighbourhoods. A decent, affordable home meant living in comfort during lockdown. It meant space to work from home and home school.

“The support social landlords offered became a lifeline for many in frightening, isolated times. Up and down the country we heard stories of the difference landlords made and how they worked together in the places they work.”

This report explores the lessons we’ve learned so far from the Covid-19 pandemic, including how local our view of place is and the importance of building strong, trusting partnerships in places.”

Andrew van Doorn, CEO of HACT, said: “As community anchors, housing associations are in a unique position. We work in place for the long-term. We have the capacity to affect the recovery and reset of communities across the UK now and in the future.”

A summary of the report can be found here

The full report can be viewed here