Housing 21 has been named a finalist in two Housing Digital Innovation Award categories

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Posted 30 November 2022

Colleagues at Housing 21 are celebrating following the news that the organisation has been shortlisted for two national industry awards.   

Housing Digital’s Innovation Awards aim to celebrate the dedication, talent, and drive of those who strive to make UK housing a place of continuous innovation and excellence. In last year’s awards, Housing 21 scooped gold for the most innovative supported/sheltered housing scheme for its flagship Extra Care scheme, Meadow Walk in Fakenham.  

The nominations recognise Housing 21’s pioneering support as both a specialist social landlord and employer, with the housing provider up for the most innovative financial support scheme for its Tenancy Gurus initiative and most innovative approach to culture and wellbeing for both colleagues and residents. 

More than 400 residents have been supported by Housing 21’s Tenancy Gurus, a network of 40 colleagues who are on hand to speak to residents about their finances and support them to claim benefits they are entitled to. The initiative has enabled residents to claim on average a collective total of £108,000 per month in extra benefits entitlement or income.  

These colleagues are part of a commitment to helping residents sustain a healthy tenancy and preventing issues, such as rent and service charge arrears before they arise.  Tenancy Gurus are supported by Super Tenancy Gurus, dedicated to delivering Housing 21’s Helping Hands Fund which has awarded £70,000 since April to residents through a one-off grant for when something unexpected arises affecting their financial wellbeing.  

In addition to launching innovative initiatives to increase financial support for its residents, Housing 21 has also launched several schemes to help create an inclusive and supportive culture for all, such as developing a stand-alone Respect and Inclusion Strategy and Charter. This scheme has involved working together with residents and employees to create a series of inclusive standards we should expect from all stakeholders with a view to creating respectful environments for people who live, work and partner with us. 

The housing provider has also launched its own Extra Care Academy, is trialling a nine-day fortnight and earlier this year created a dedicated role to lead on employee wellbeing.  

Housing 21’s Employee Wellbeing Lead is ensuring the organisation has a holistic approach to employee wellbeing that is informed by good data and insights, as well as focusing on prevention and early intervention, but most importantly champions that wellbeing is everyone’s business. 

Pam Mastrantonio, Executive Director of Retirement Living at Housing 21, said: “I’m really proud to see that the work we’ve been doing across the organisation, both internally and externally to enhance our support for residents and position us as an employer of choice for our teams and colleagues, has been recognised.  

Every employee has an important role to play in making a difference to our resident’s lives and so creating a work environment that enables them to thrive is crucial in us attracting and retaining the sector’s most talented professionals.   

“I’d like to thank and congratulate everyone who has been involved with our Tenancy Guru network or contributed to any other initiatives that have truly made a positive impact over the last year.” 

Winners of the Housing Digital Innovation Awards will be announced at Edgbaston Cricket Ground, Birmingham, on Thursday 9 February 2023. To read the full shortlist, visit Housing Digital. 

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