Guest blog – Beyond Bricks and Mortar: Metropolitan launch independence project

At Metropolitan we manage over 38,000 affordable homes, alongside a range of care and support services. We are a leading integrated housing and care provider and in total we serve over 80,000 customers across London, the East of England and the East Midlands. We manage homes for social housing residents, sheltered and supported homes, mental health and other care and support services. We also deliver neighbourhood investment programmes to improve the communities that we work in.

We have recently launched a research project, working with Connect and Paul Hunter from the Smith Institute, looking into the housing sector’s role in creating greater social value – beyond providing homes.

Some of our residents and customers face real barriers such as unemployment or social exclusion, that can stifle aspiration, so enabling people to overcome those barriers and take more control over their lives is already a part of what we do. Housing associations have a strong tradition of supporting employment or training programmes and fostering cohesion in the communities we work in but now we want to look beyond that – what more should the housing sector be doing? How can housing associations deliver greater social value?

The project, Beyond Bricks and Mortar, will look at how housing providers:

  • Provide access to employment, volunteering and training
  • Provide access to affordable home ownership
  • Support people to remain independent through targeted care and support services
  • Make best use of social housing to help people in greatest need

Beyond Bricks and Mortar will seek to aid our understanding of the evidence in these areas and lead us to some new findings. We are asking a wide range of organisations and individuals to get involved and we want as many examples of best practice and opportunities for doing more as possible. To inform the project we have put together a short survey and we’re asking for views from across a range of sectors.

Why take part?

This is an opportunity to share best practice and highlight work that you may be doing in this area to a wider audience.

The findings will form part of a report and recommendations to be published towards the end of this year. The report will be widely communicated to a range of influential audiences. It will aim to share best practice across sectors and will make recommendations for government policy to support independence.

The survey can take anything from 4 minutes to 15 minutes to complete depending how many questions you choose to answer. You can find the survey here.

Carl Quilliam, Public Affairs Executive, Metropolitan