In times of challenge and change you will find some organisations (in any sector or business) will retreat and retrench and focus inwards. Amongst NHC members we have found the opposite – that there is perhaps even greater appetite to engage with each other, to seek out opportunities to share concerns, to jointly create solutions. In responding to this need, we have changed the way in which we do “policy” at the NHC. Put simply, we are moving from paper to people. Whilst there is still a need for succinct, timely briefing notes, we recognise that our members get greater benefit from networking and attending roundtables focusing on finding solutions to shared challenges.
We now undertake an annual programme of roundtables on a range of topics. In recent months we have met with members to address the prospect of Local Authorities taking a role in direct builds, we have engaged with members to consider the future vision for supported housing, we have explored progress with the devolution agenda, shared new approaches to allocation and lettings. Alongside these topic-specific roundtable opportunities we also host a range of networks in each of the three northern regions and we will soon be launching a northern Local Authority network which will bring Local Authorities together from across the North to focus on the strategic housing role.
Our members advise that they find this practical, peer-supported approach of great value and we benefit hugely from having the opportunity to work more closely with more of our members – providing us with even better insight into their needs. There is nothing not on our agenda – from redesigning business processes to tackling homelessness, from cyber security to welfare reform.