24 Jun 2021
On June 30 2020, Tyfu Tai Cymru (TTC - a five-year policy research project managed by CIH Cymru) published its findings from a survey of local authority housing professionals conducted before the COVID-19 pandemic started.
In late 2020, TTC returned to local government housing professionals to ask them how working through the pandemic has had an impact on the delivery of housing and housing services, and on staff well-being and resilience.
The report found that:
Catherine May | Tyfu Tai Cymru Manager, CIH Cymru
This survey provides a sobering reminder of the pace with which public services have had to shift their resources and adapt their approach to delivering services in response to managing the COVID-19 crisis. We know that local government housing professionals were already experiencing significant pressures in carrying out their roles before the pandemic took hold, our survey clearly shows that despite some optimism amongst staff, these pressures have intensified. Pre-existing challenges such as the lack of social housing has made matters worse, whilst the pandemic has created an environment where deadline pressures for government support, the challenge of moving services to a virtual form of delivering services and some staff having to become overnight leaders have presented fresh issues for teams to overcome. Despite these challenges, local authorities have acted with flexibility and resilience in supporting staff to work from home, and to remove some of the bureaucracy that can sometimes lengthen the time it takes to achieve positive outcomes for people. Local authority housing professionals, who clearly face significant challenges in their day-to-day jobs, particularly during the pandemic, are driven by a strong desire to help people and work as part of a wider team. Their commitment and determination should be commended. But reflecting on these survey findings there is a clear risk that without further government support to meet current and future demand, the pressure on local authority housing professionals will only intensify further, limiting their ability to have the kind of impact we know they can achieve for each and every person who approaches them for help.
Notes for editors