Assumption is the mother of all f*ck-ups – Key Digital Exclusion lessons from a prime-time hospital drama

More and more prime-time television series address everyday issues. From covid to Black Lives Matters, the last year has seen a surge in TV writers sharing their thoughts about the world and ‘the system’ through their series. New Amsterdam is one such series. A modern hospital drama. It has (and still is) addressing Covid and BLM in very (much needed) painful ways, and combined it in its latest episode with a focus on (effects of) digital exclusion. Dr Gaby Wolferink gives you the key lessons here.

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Opinion: Dampen your Mould – The dire state of housing in the UK

The dire state of housing and the poor conditions in which many private rented sector, council and social housing tenants are living has been brought to the forefront yet again in recent weeks.

Good, because this needs to be addressed. SHM’s Dr Gaby Wolferink writes about her views and experiences and thinks about how sensor technology can and should be used to build better housing, fit for the 21st century, for everyone, not just those who can afford it.

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Why the 28-day move-on period for refugees needs to be extended

When a destitute asylum seeker arrives in the UK they are offered ‘Asylum accommodation’.

This accommodation could be anywhere within the UK and the asylum seeker does not get a choice of where they are located.

Katy Wood explores how this process works out in practice, and argues the standard 28-day move-on period should be extended.

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Homelessness and Covid-19. Utilising empty homes.

Local authorities have a duty under the Housing Act (Wales) 2014 to prevent homelessness and provide support for people who are homeless or threatened with homelessness.

In 2015, homelessness legislation introduced new duties and powers for local authorities to prevent homelessness for anyone at risk within 56 days.

Amy McMurray explores the possibility of utilising empty home to alleviate homelessness challenges.

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Actionable Insights into Income and Health Inequalities

We know that difficult financial situations and poor health are interrelated. However, it is not clear how the circumstances of people’s lives affect the link between finances and health. During six months, we followed the everyday lives of 21 individuals living on low incomes and managing multiple long-term conditions.

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Rapid responsive action to Covid and the need for a forward looking and long-term response.

The COVID-19 global pandemic has prompted rapid responsive action from both the UK government and the devolved nations across the United Kingdom. The national lockdown and the subsequent regional lockdowns that have occurred since March 2020 have placed restrictions and conditions on all citizens that has required people to stay home, however, this has only highlighted the urgent need for people to live in safe and suitable accommodation, write Emma Parcell

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Should we own stuff?

A lot of people own a lot of things, from socks to mugs, to phones to sofas. But, is owning lots of stuff something that is still fit for the 21st century and beyond?

Caroline Duvier asks this while thinking about reusing stuff, furniture poverty, offering the option of a furnished tenancy in social housing, and much more in this article!

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2021: A Home Odyssey

In this article Dr Gaby Wolferink looks back to 2020 and what she feels should be the key lessons to be brought into 2021 and beyond.

It ended up a story of privilege and a call to action for tech providers, architects and social housing providers to start building homes fit to harbour someone in a pandemic, in safety, instead of being yet another concern.

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Getting comfortable with discomfort. An essential first step in poverty work

Hannah Absalom, a former practitioner of 18 years and now PhD student at the University of Birmingham and co-founder of SHM writes about how the housing sector can best approach furthering their understanding of poverty and their role in recognising, alleviating and preventing it.

In this article Hannah focusus on the first step, which is for people to get comfortable with feeling uncomfortable about poverty.

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Tough decisions: juggling strategic choices

Ellen Damlica is an Associate at Penningtons Manches Cooper and specialises in social housing governmance.

This article is intended to facilitate discussion around key decisions that need to be made after 2020 and going into 2021 at Board and executive level, and to assist in identifying which matters are the ’glass balls’ and which are the ’plastic balls’.

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Duo-living: A different approach to the housing crisis from the Netherlands

Stichting Statiegeld op Jeugd is a Dutch initiative that is seeking to combat the housing crisis in the Netherlands. They do so by proposing a housing ‘format’ where existing homes, mostly occupied by ’empty nesters’ are split up into two homes, allowing the older generation to stay in their own homes AND create more social housing out of existing properties!

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Innovation isn’t Rocket Science

We always think of innovation as being ‘digital’, ‘technology’, ‘shiny’ and combining this into ‘groundbreaking’ stuff, like rocket science…

But, just because rocket science is innovation, innovation isn’t rocket science. Too often we see ‘digital’ and ‘technology’ as the goal, rather than improving people’s lives.

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The ClwydAlyn way – Trust, Covid and Service Reform

ClwydAlyn is a housing association in Wales whose mission is all about addressing poverty. This means that they focus time and resources on supporting tenants that might be struggling with income poverty, fuel poverty or food poverty.

With the impact of Covid19 now unfolding, this mission has become even more vital.

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Social Housing White Paper – An environmental angle by Suss Housing

Suss Housing have created ‘SHIFT’; a sustainability standard for the housing sector.

It is an independent assessment and accreditation scheme that demonstrates organisations are delivering against challenging environmental targets. They have kindly shared their view on the Social Housing White Paper from an environmental angle.

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Northern Ireland’s housing authority will be reclassified as a mutual – but will it also be privatised?

The Minister for Communities at Stormont recently delivered a major statement on housing policy which was then lauded from almost all sides.

In this article, University of Birmingham Lecturer and researcher Stewart Smyth takes a deeper look at what the Minister said and argues that there is an intention to privatise the Northern Ireland Housing Executive.

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Community-Led Approaches to Empty Homes in Wales

This article comes from final-year BSc Housing Students at Cardiff Metropolitan University, Amy McMurray, Anthony Morgans, and Emma Parcell.

On behalf of Tyfu Tai Cymru, a 5-year housing policy project, they researched the role of community-led solutions in addressing empty homes.

This article shares their most important findings.

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Disgruntled at Being Dismissed as Disgruntled?! A reply to the comments on the ‘Letter to my Landlord’ article.

This article has been shared in response to comments to an earlier article we published on the 15th of November 2020, ‘Letter to My Landlord’.

These comments were criticising the original author’s view of private landlords as not being realistic or fair, dismissing them as a ‘disgruntled’ tenant.

This article addresses thes coments.

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ESG – Opportunities and Challenges for Boards

Environmental, social and governance matters have steadily moved up the list of priorities for registered providers of housing providers following the introduction of the UK’s legally binding target to produce zero net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Ellen Damlica, Associate in the Housing Corporate and Governance Team at Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP, provides readers with a concise and clear overview of what boards need to consider when talking about this ‘2050 Target’.

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Letter to my Landlord

Recently, things have become just a bit too much. The pandemic, changes to planning laws, evictions can go ahead again, and wishy washy statements about funding for retrofit of the existing housing stock and building more social housing.

An anonymous contributer decided to write a letter to their landlord, addressing issues that other private renting tenants might recognise.

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Social Housing Tenants – Influence Your Future. Call for Independent Research Participation.

PhD Researcher and SHM co-founder Hannah Absalom asks tenants for their opinions on new ways of delivering services to tenants.

The anonymised findings will be used to contribute to academic research, and also a findings report to the sector.

The aim is to ensure tenants influence the future of services that are ultimately supposed to benefit them.

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