Orbit pledges commitment to social suppliers with the launch of a new procurement platform

A new, innovative open access procurement platform has been launched by Orbit and Supply Change – a social procurement provider – to connect suppliers and buyers to deliver commercial value and social impact.

The new Social Supplier Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS) allows buyers to source goods and services from suppliers who can deliver a quality service and a positive impact, such as social enterprises, charities and sheltered workshops.

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Language Matters – The use of ‘vulnerable’ and other depowering phrases in housing

Society, including the housing sector, has a tendency to use words like ‘vulnerable’ as an umbrella term, and to use phrases like ‘giving a voice’ when talking about pepole who for some reason or another have been placed in a position of less power, by others, potentially them.

This article explores what the use of these phrases implies and which power imbalances it creates and upholds. It argues that the sector should stop using language like this and works towards an inclusive language that doesn’t contribute to maintaining power imbalances and stigmatising perceptions.

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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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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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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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Domestic abuse ‘move on’ service reports that 60% of movers come from a BAME background

Homefinder UK’s Revive project highlights the lack of understanding by many statutory and voluntary agencies about the specific ethnic, religious and cultural concerns facing women fleeing domestic

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The Digital Threat From Within: The Need for Data Integrity Experts

When we talk of digital exclusion and people not being able to ‘do things digitally’, we often or mostly talk about the people who use our services. But what about the people providing your services; do they know what they’re doing?

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