I have decided to start a weekly blog. Not sure who will be interested, but I am interested in describing my journey, started 4 years ago, taking my housing ’offer’ from mainstream housing into the world of social care.
This transition all started so promisingly. My first housing role in the world of social care was providing housing solutions, on behalf of a PCT, for adults with learning disabilities living in unsatisfactory accommodation. I had influence as capital programme project manager, i.e. the capital backing of a PCT with the determination to rehouse 62 individuals within 2 years. My main delivery partners were housing associations, some large mainstream others were the non registered housing arms of social care providers.
I soon learnt that traditional housing management, of the type espoused by the large mainstream housing associations, and the type I had learnt over the past 30 years, was not enough. I realised I had to change the tools in my toolbox. Top quartile KPIs, policy on repairs timescales and responsibilities, value for money strategy, recharging for tenant’s damage - seemed inadequate when responding to the housing needs of people with profound learning and physical disabilities. Question: Which of my traditional housing skills did I value the most? Answer: tenant consultation, improving services continuously, identifying and meeting housing needs, property adaptations, treating people as individuals with unique needs and wants.
Over the coming weeks I will be describing my experience of working as a housing manager in the social care sector - my achievements, challenges, lessons, highs and lows.