Housing associations are to begin a major new challenge of developing pioneering ideas to tackle the country’s biggest future social challenges, the National Housing Federation has announced at its Annual Conference today (Wednesday).
As part of its ambitious new futures programme, ‘Creating our Future’, the National Housing Federation will bring together housing associations from across the country to create products and services which transform people’s lives on a national scale.
Independent social investor Big Society Capital is partnering with the National Housing Federation on the challenge, having recognised housing associations’ ability to implement impactful social change across the country.
Big Society Capital will invest up to £15m for the most investable idea from the futures programme. The winning venture must be innovative, socially impactful and financially sustainable, with a robust business model that requires investment.
The eighteen-month challenge will tap into the energy and innovation of housing associations up and down the country, gathering hundreds of early ideas before developing and testing the best of them with residents and local communities.
The National Housing Federation will then hold a ‘Futures Expo’ in 2019 to launch the ground-breaking ideas that have the potential to make a real difference to people’s lives across England.
Baroness Diana Warwick, Chair of the National Housing Federation, said:
“As successful businesses with strong roots in their communities, housing associations are uniquely placed to respond to the challenges of tomorrow. Innovation is in their DNA, from building good quality affordable homes to ensuring residents have the skills of the future.
“’Creating our Future’ builds on the sector’s rich heritage and core mission by harnessing the brainpower and drive of housing associations to tackle the big social issues we will face as a country.”
Cliff Prior, Chief Executive of Big Society Capital, said:
“We are proud to be a core partner with the National Housing Federation in this transformational project. Housing associations have successfully risen to the challenges of social issues on many occasions.
“The Futures Programme will contribute to them doing do so again, using all the new technology and innovations that are available. Our £15 million investment for ground breaking, financially sustainable ideas demonstrates our commitment to working together to improve people’s lives through housing.”