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The Chartered Institute of Housing is the independent voice for housing and the home of professional standards

Changes in housing: frontline futures


The role of the frontline housing professional is changing - what skills are you and your organisation going to need in the future? Dr Jo Richardson of the Centre for Comparative Housing Research explains how you can get involved in CIH's Frontline futures project.

What is the social value of frontline housing workers and how are roles adapting to changes and new demands from housing customers across the UK?  This is the question my research team was asked to examine by the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) and Wheatley Housing Group (WHG).  The project is in its early stages and aims to report in March 2014; more information and a link to a brief survey can be found on our DMU project web page

Our aim is to engage people working in housing in a debate on some important issues, including:

  • The nature of current frontline housing roles
  • What is needed to enable high-performing frontline staff to deliver?
  • Key relationships and networks needed for the future
  • Understanding types of working relationships which best support frontline futures
  • Current and future skills, attitudes and behaviours of successful frontline housing workers
  • What does successful engagement with partners (health, social care, police etc) look like?
  • The social value and benefit of frontline housing roles and how this may change in the future
  • Impact of technology on frontline housing roles for the future

There has already been thoughtful work on the changing context for the housing industry, for example CIH's Tomorrow’s World Today and Learning Today, Leading Tomorrow projects.  Our new research will stand on the shoulders of these pieces, focusing particularly on those frontline roles that interact directly with customers and partner agencies, that can make an immediate impact on people’s lives in social housing and which embody the ‘brand’ of social housing organisations. 

Many people in social housing have already had their say in our survey but we would like to capture a wide range of views and would encourage anyone working in housing with an opinion on the future of frontline housing roles to spend ten minutes to complete the survey online.

There is also an opportunity to get involved through a CIH webinar on 18 December – if you're a CIH member you can register here.

Frontline housing roles have changed and will continue to change as the wider political and economic context continues to fluctuate.  Now is the time to shape the debate and to ensure the housing sector continues to deliver the services that communities need the most.

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  • As a front line officer within a local Authority settings.. front line staff's are not only advising clients but, are now required to do other functions such as councelling, Advice, support the client and also sigh post to other agencies ..

    Oluwasanya, Emmanuel

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