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The Chartered Institute of Housing is the independent voice for housing and the home of professional standards

Case and place - a new approach to housing management


As we face the challenges of Covid-19, it may feel like a strange time to be reflecting on the evolution of housing management. However, the principles of good housing management are more important than ever as the service adapts to an unprecedented situation, as Sovereign divisional director Stuart Davies explains.

Today CIH has published its report on new approaches to housing management. This includes Sovereign’s recent journey towards a ‘case and place’ approach, which included rethinking our approach in order to provide quality, personalised services, as well as support whole neighbourhoods. We’re also investing in our people, professionalising our team through a bespoke CIH-accredited qualification.

While the world has changed in the short time since the report was finalised, there are remains some important lessons for housing professionals.

Customer first. Always. We must continue to remind ourselves that we exist to serve our current tenants first. While building new homes is incredibly important, good housing management is the bedrock upon which other growth can build. We ignore it at our peril.

- Processes are flexible. Good housing management involves a level of professional responsibility and is firmly rooted in delivery of an outcome – we should not slavishly follow a process. I’m seeing this already in the context of Covid-19, where professional judgements are being made all of the time against a rapidly changing picture of resource available and the demand and risks of the service being delivered.

- Continual evolution: As we handle the impact of the coronavirus, I’m seeing people making good joined-up calls in the interests of residents. We’re clearing away the barriers that in normal times could lead to lots of process handoffs over complicating delivery and stopping us achieving good customer service. These challenging days will ultimately drive further evolutions in how we do things.

What’s been good with the Sovereign experience is while we may not have got everything right yet, there’s a clarity and direction around connecting with our customer and improving outcomes which is driving all our future endeavour.

And in New approaches to housing management, it’s heartening to see a diverse group of organisations involved in this research united in seeing the need to be more accessible, customer focussed, and joined up in our approaches. It’s clear, as the world changes, the future of housing management is a positive one.

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