Saturday, 8 August 2015

Give Youth A Chance

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In the last few weeks I have been at many organisations thrown into disarray, and a little despair at the recent 'emergency budget' from our democratically elected leaders. we have indeed got what we voted for. Let's not make any bones about it, that was most people in the UK voting for more austerity and for a good chunk of it to be inflicted, mostly on the poorer in our society.

The 1% rent cut and HB caps are causing most consternation, and for me leading to less work and more work in equal measure. For each organisation shelving a procurement I have an another looking to accelerate one to meet the new world we are in.

My views are well documented and I proposed about 2 years ago that we had to wake up as a sector to demonstrate our worth, spreading the message what good eggs we really are, and what we add to reducing costs of HB and making our communities better places for all to live in.

However, we are where we are and systems are my weapon to squeeze every last drop of efficiency from what we do and help us avoid the effect of the latest 'challenges'.

One area that many RSL's have not particularly twigged on to yet, are those tenants that are under 25. New rules are designed to squeeze this demographic  in a very cruel way. I've got kids like most and goodness me, with an aging population, we need to be encouraging, not knocking down this demographic.

Where we have tenants in this demographic, we need to be providing extra care to ensure their tenancies are sustainable, and that they can thrive in terms of health, finance, job prospects etc.

To illustrate the problem, a person I enjoy working with, is squeezed in this kind of way. They went through a sticky patch in a rural village, with no practical access to transport or jobs, bringing up a young family. They now snag what they regard as the perfect position for them, a few years on they have improved their income and situation. Light at the end of the tunnel.

However, PayToStay, caps and the end of benefits for the under 25's all pull a rug from under my colleague and their family. Surely we need to be developing our youth. Although i was never a fan, in the 1980's under  Mrs Thatcher, I managed a few jobs, got a BSc for free (apart from the hard work of course, which I don't begrudge).  Dare I say it, I don't think she was as bad as some of the ideologically driven politicians of today.  The youth don't have the chances I had, and are set up to fail.

From a social housing viewpoint it's a disaster for our young people. It's also, a hidden disaster for many social landlords, if their information is not accurate. You know what? From the number of pieces of work I have done around data quality this last 6 months, I would not be so sure as a sector, we can 100% identify these tenants properly.

Our lack of accurate data is the sectors Achilles heal.

It always has been, but (if our directors have not twigged it so far....), now the danger is real. Poor data will lead to unsustainable tenancies. Those strands of diversity that were just a tick in a box, just got real. Let's get on top of accurate  Dates Of Births, household make-ups, vulnerability needs, current mobile telephone numbers, you know, all that stuff. It's not just for KPIs people, this info managed better in our systems, could underpin our very existence.

If I can help anyone moving, moved or struggling with mobile, please be in touch!

Related Post: Procurement rules have changed since Feb 2015, are you on to the new way to buy?


I would be pleased to connect with you on LinkedIn - Message me with any issues or queries, you would like to be explored in this blog. We generally receive a couple of suggestions each month.

The Ruts - Give Youth A ChanceThe Ruts - Give Youth A Chance.
(c) Tony Smith, Acutance Consulting 07854-655009

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