COVID-19 has highlighted the value of existing community connections in enabling rapid responses to local needs. Within my own community I have been inspired by the new sense of community and the selflessness of my neighbourhoods and wider County in supporting the most vulnerable.
The impact of the pandemic on every community has led to new partnerships and a realisation that there are enormous reserves of skill, good will, and energy available when people feel motivated by common interests. As we move through our roadmap to recovery we are all wondering if things will ever be the same again, I for one hope in terms of community investment it will not be the same.
Fundamentally as housing professionals we all believe in the importance of community and a place to call home. We know that communities are at the heart of improved health and wellbeing, enhanced life chances and resilience. Providing a home is more than a house or a place, it is a feeling.
Home is feeling safe, secure, and happy, where you feel you belong and where you are part of a community.
As a sector Community Investment has always been an established part of our work.
At Rooftop Housing Group, as a rural, community-based Housing Association, we are at the heart of our communities which makes us well placed to support positive change. We have some of the key skills and resources to complement that of our partners, customers, and communities and recognise that investment requires sustained commitment, motivation, resources, and capacity to deliver it effectively.
The best Housing Associations in our sector maximise social investment with some fantastic examples of the ability to bring about change. In our post pandemic world our sector together with our partners are needed more than ever to build future resilience.
Our response to the pandemic has been to set an ambitious path to work together to make significant change that will form a legacy, we want to take several steps to target key inequalities and impacts of the pandemic. At Rooftop Housing Group we will target action in the areas where we know we can deliver most benefit, together with partners we will expand our community role to increase social impact through community investment.
Our future approach is built on existing strength based approaches focussing upon place and adding value. We believe that listening to our customers and communities is our first step to building a true understanding about their needs, priorities, and aspirations. We want to build relationships with communities, local partners, and organisations to ensure that communities have access to the best expertise and resources that support community empowerment to create and own solutions. Innovation is key in finding creative ways of not only working with communities but connecting people.
As a key stakeholder we have several skills that can support community investment that includes facilitating growth and investment for those communities most in need. Our focus over the next three years will be.
Community connection and infrastructure.
Health and wellbeing.
Employment, education, skills, and training.
Fundamentally our aim is to work together, creating places that are empowering and resilient with community at its heart, community investment is not a one size fits and in our post pandemic landscape we have a wonderful opportunity to build upon our combined strengths and form a legacy. What will your approach to community investment be?