Now, more than ever, it is vital that the progress made into tackling housing requirements is maintained as the effects of Coronavirus will likely have left more people in housing need.
Housing associations have been key to helping the government increase affordable housing levels but the impact of their work goes far beyond delivering homes. Through their building programmes, as well as their wider services, they have helped the government meet its social, economic and environmental policy objectives in health and social care, poverty, ageing population, employment, education and climate change.
In order to evidence this the UK Collaborative Centre for Housing Evidence (CaCHE) and HACT were commissioned to carry out research into the social, economic, health, and wellbeing impact of social housing, by a number of renowned organisations including SFHA, Public Health Scotland and Rural and Islands Housing Associations Forum (RIHAF).
Evidence supports the view that there are significant economic benefits in terms of jobs, gross value added, local spending with social housing investment. It indicates that well-designed housing improvements and investment can positively impact on health and contribute to reducing the fundamental causes of health inequality, especially considering recovery from Covid-19.
Social housing investment can have a critical role in supporting and making rural communities more resilient, through providing low cost housing for young people to help them stay in these communities, as well as helping to sustain vital public services and employment.
It is therefore even more important that notwithstanding the economic stresses placed on the country by the impact of Covid 19, that there should continue to be financial support from the government for housing associations.