Housing Crisis Needs New Partnership – Report
Thursday, 3rd October 2013 at 9:35 am
The philanthropic and the housing sectors in the UK need to establish a new partnership to overcome the crisis in affordable housing, according to a report by the charity think tank New Philanthropy Capital (NPC).
The report called rebuilding the relationship between affordable housing and philanthropy said that in these tough times there was a pressing rationale for closer collaboration and learning from each group.
“Affordable housing and philanthropy have a long established and productive relationship. Their social purposes are similar: both aim to invest for a social return and seek to use any financial surplus for the benefit of the community. However, the two sectors have steadily grown apart in recent decades,” the report said.
However, it said that philanthropy on its own can’t hope to solve the crisis in affordable housing.
“But philanthropists and foundations could play a bigger role in social housing and community investment. And it could encourage innovation and help housing associations develop their own philanthropic activities.”
One of the report’s authors, Chief Executive of New Philanthropy Capital, Dan Corry said philanthropists, grant-making trusts and foundations could help fund the vital community investment work of housing providers, such as programs to boost employment, enterprise and skills.
They could get more involved in a range of projects; for example, providing equipment to community groups, resources for youth programmes, or funding to facilitate work to tackle isolation among older people.
“Housing providers are uniquely placed to deliver these services, which might previously have been provided exclusively by local authorities. However, to do so comprehensively will require new partnerships and funding streams,” Corry said.
As well Corry said social housing providers could not expect philanthropic organisations to fund them and then be left alone.
“Those giving money will want to understand what impact it is having. Housing and philanthropy must be a two-way street. Perhaps, then, this is a good moment for the two sectors to think about more formal ways of working closer together,” the report said.
“The big challenge now is how to ensure that the good will and shared interest between the two sectors is carried forward in a meaningful way.”