Billions invested to improve lives in England
- Published on Friday, 27 July 2012 14:23
- Written by Scott Buckler
Housing associations last year helped improve the lives of over eight million people with more than half a billion pounds of community investment, according to a new report
Building Futures, published by the National Housing Federation, shows the scale and variety of housing associations' investment in England's communities, helping people get out of debt, back into work and giving young people a chance of a brighter future.
JOBS – housing associations invested over £80m helping people into work
SKILLS – housing associations invested over £73m in learning and skills and helped 500,000 people
HEALTH – £74m was invested in health and wellbeing projects
LIVES – housing associations invested £16m to help people to beat fuel poverty
PEOPLE – £100m was invested in building safer, stronger communities
PLACES – £75m was invested in improving green spaces
SPACES – £6m has been invested in IT centres over five years
David Orr, chief executive of the National Housing Federation, which represents housing associations in England, said:
"Housing associations build futures, giving people hand-ups not handouts. They are model social enterprises, ploughing any extra cash they make straight back into the communities they serve.
"With rising numbers of young people out of education or training, many unable to find work and social exclusion increasing across the UK, the investment of housing associations in local communities is more critical than ever.
"Every year they help millions of people by giving them the support to change their lives forever. They get people back to work with apprenticeships and skills training, encourage them to play an active role in their community and create places where they want to live."
The report also looks at how housing associations spent millions of their own money delivering vital local health services, helping people lead healthier lifestyles and enabling older and disabled people to live dignified, independent lives.
David Orr continued: "But they're not doing it alone. Housing associations work together with national and local government, charities and health agencies. And for every two pounds of their own money, housing associations attract a further one pound of investment in community services from other organisations."