Twelve months ago we launched our Happy, Healthy Starts campaign in conjunction with Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) to assess the role of landlords in tackling poverty and what practical actions the sector could take which would also alleviate pressures on us as businesses.
We house around 16,000 people under the age of 16, of which an estimated 4,000 are growing up poor. Our research revealed one in 10 Orbit households have made use of foodbanks in the last 12 months and have taken out a quick cash loan or used cash converters. Out of the more than 1,000 of our customers receiving money advice in the last year, almost two in five consisted of households with children.
Hearing from the children and parents living in our homes, we held focus groups sessions across our key operating areas including, Coventry, Rugby, London Borough of Bexley and Thanet.
In the last 18 months we have:
- Spoken to more than 50 parents and children living in our homes about the challenges they face, their hopes and aspirations
- Gathered valuable insight from employees at our first roadshow fringe events
- Ran a workshop at the CIH Housing 2017 Conference attended by housing providers, charities and experts
- Hosted a panel discussion at the Conservative Party Conference
- Helped around 50 customers benefit from a 12-month pilot retaining good quality flooring and window coverings in properties at the time of re-let, saving them on average £500 each
- Worked with Government to change the way Universal Credit is administered resulting in the removal of the seven day wait.
With your help we have created a toolkit of practical actions housing providers can take to help tackle child poverty in our communities.
To read the report, Providing the tools to help families thrive, in full, click here