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20 November 2023 | Comment | Article by Caroline O'Flaherty

HJ Housing Week 2023: the key takeaways for the social housing sector

This year’s HJ Housing Week helped us celebrate our 40 years advising the social housing sector and demonstrated a fantastic collaboration with clients and contacts from a wide range of organisations. All of the virtual sessions are available to access as recordings online and our in-person Housing Conference involved a fresh look at ASB and how front-line staff at a housing association can have such a positive impact on victims.

A number of themes emerged from the sessions which spanned treasury and governance, development, HR as well as a final day focused on how we can keep customers safe.

The HJ housing week conference taking place in our Cardiff Office Vista lounge with attendees gathered around tables


Key takeaways from Housing Week:

1. We need to try harder to find areas of certainty

With political ups and downs and the funding landscape seeming so unpredictable, to continue making headway towards building targets organisations need to individually examine where they can find “pockets” of certainty through other income streams, ideally over 2- 4 year periods.

2. Board assurance is key

All teams need to do what they can to make board confident to commit to plans. This can take the form of stress testing, building flexibility into plans, reviewing 5-year forecasts and exit strategies or ensuring an in-depth understanding of financial options.

3. Technical skills are in short supply

Spanning planning departments, on-site and in-house, an increasing level of technical capability is now required to really grasp decarbonisation, ESG and other pressures.

4. Commercial decision-making is essential

Whilst focused on their core purpose, housing associations must feel confident making decisions on a commercial basis – ranging from restructures and mergers to investments and asset management. Customers remain at the heart of those decisions and will be better served by strategic plans that take commercial drivers into account.

HJ housing week attendee feedback reading: "was informative and full of useful information that can be easily put into practice. I thought the section by ASB Help was brilliant."

HJ Housing Week covers the full spectrum of housing issues using our 40 years of experience advising the sector combined with insights from guest speakers.

You can catch up on all the HJ Housing Week webinars, articles and videos using the button below.


Disclaimer: The information on the Hugh James website is for general information only and reflects the position at the date of publication. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be treated as such. If you would like to ensure the commentary reflects current legislation, case law or best practice, please contact the blog author.

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