Partnerships are at the heart of Futures
As a leading housing provider in the East Midlands, we already work across 23 local authority areas. We provide over 10,000 homes, most of them for affordable rent, which includes over 3,000 supported and sheltered homes.
We’re ambitious and aim to not just build more homes, but to provide more help to individuals and to communities. Our corporate plan for 2020-23 sets out our vision and how we are working towards it.
The Covid-19 pandemic has put new and unprecedented strain on our local communities and the after shocks are likely to last for many years. At the same time, we know that local authorities and other support services are under immense pressure. With all this in mind, new partnerships will have a vital role to play in recovery and in helping our customers towards 'great tomorrows'. We already work with local authorities to provide housing. In some cases though we join forces to provide services – and we’re looking to do much more in this area.
We have four main areas of focus. Click on the tabs below to find out more:
- Homelessness & housing advice
- Independent living & adapted homes
- Investing in communities
- Employment support
We currently work with three local authorities (Amber Valley, Erewash and Daventry) to support their homelessness services. As part of this we provide 14 temporary homes. Since April 2020 we have housed 87 homeless applicants in Amber Valley and a further 56 in Daventry.
While rough sleeping is relatively uncommon in Amber Valley, we have supported the council through the Covid-19 pandemic by providing a furnished home specifically for anyone found sleeping rough with signs of Covid infection. This provides a safe recovery space while more permanent accommodation is found for them. More generally we have supported direct lets to priority families and individuals during the pandemic to avoid the need for temporary accommodation such as bed and breakfast hotels.
Futures is not a public body as defined by The Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 and while we are not subject to the duty to refer people at risk of homelessness, we are nonetheless signed up to the Commitment to Refer campaign lead by the National Housing Federation.
We also think prevention is better than cure so we run two services to help reduce the risk of homeless among our customers with services designed to help them avoid putting their tenancy at risk. This provides both money and employment advice to those at risk of financial hardship. We already have plans to expand these services into a more comprehensive tenancy sustainment service including a range of practical as well as emotional support.
We’re keen to expand these services into new local authority areas. If you want to find out how we can join forces to help tackle homelessness in your area, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Most of us want to live independently in our own homes and the right adaptations can play a huge part in this, whether a customer is struggling with disability or age-related problems. That’s why we offer a range of services in this area which includes:
- Match-funded adaptations where this can provide a lifetime adapted home for a family or individual in need.
- Direct lets into existing adapted homes to support those who need adaptations and are happy and able to move.
- Technical solutions to support families and individuals in their home where physical adaptations are not needed.
We spend over a quarter of a million pounds a year in the Daventry area alone on adapting homes for people with support needs. We work closely with experts including occupational therapists (OTs) and specialist contractors to meet the needs of our customers.
We fund minor adaptations such as grab and handrails without the need for an OT assessment through our own budgets. We also work closely with Amber Valley Borough Council on referrals for Disabled Facility Grant (DFG) funded adaptations in our homes which can include installing telecare and other technology-driven solutions.
Our Home Choices team works with OT’s in Derbyshire and the DFG team in Amber Valley to review and allocate any existing adapted homes that become available for letting. Offers of accommodation to those best-suited to each property are made outside of the normal waiting list as direct lets.
If no suitable homes are available we can adapt vacant properties where necessary to meet the needs of priority applicants on the housing register and reduce waiting times.
We also offer a wide range of technology to support people to live independently through our Beep Assist brand. This service is delivered both in partnership with other organisations such as local authorities and directly to private customers.
We’re keen to talk to other potential partners in this area. Please email email@example.com to find out more about how we can help.
Few of us want to live in isolation – feeling part of a community is one of the things that makes us human. And here at Futures we invest in communities to help us achieve our vision of ‘Great places, great services; and great tomorrows.’
We do this in lots of ways. This includes:
- Joining networks and groups of organisations working both for an on-behalf of people across the East Midlands. You can find out about some of these partnerships on our ‘Accreditations, memberships and awards’ page.
- Improving the environment around our homes to create attractive, welcoming and well-cared for neighbourhoods. We work with other local agencies on projects like this – such as our plan to regenerate the Southbrook Estate in Daventry.
- Investing in the homes we own to make them more modern, comfortable and cheaper to live in - to the tune of over £15m in 2019-20 alone.
- Ensuring that we do more towards a carbon-neutral future with a renewed focus on the ‘green agenda’ in our new corporate plan.
- Helping improve employment prospects for people in our communities through initiatives of our co-owned training provider, Access Training, or the East Midlands Ella Forum.
- Supporting and encouraging our staff to help local communities through charitable giving and our own match-funding scheme.
Altogether we calculate that for every £1 we spent in 2019-20 on community-focused work we delivered £5.47 of social value - but we know we can do more.
The East Midlands has faced many social and economic challenges, even before the Covid-19 pandemic. We want to play our part, not just in rebuilding after the pandemic, but in helping to address disadvantage and inequality across the region. To do this we want to forge new partnerships with other organisations that share our vision – including housing providers, local authorities and town councils, education and voluntary services and communities themselves.
To find our more about how we can join forces, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We have a highly successful and well established employment support service for our customers (including former customers). You can find out more about the service, formerly known as Futures Gateways, here.
In 2019-20 we accepted 97 referrals to our employability service – resulting in 60 job interviews and 28 job offers. 16 customers secured full-time jobs with our help – ten more than the previous year.
We also work with Job Centre Plus to offer mentoring to both our customers and the wider community. These sessions include training on CVs, interview techniques and tracking down the right job opportunities. Other projects in this area include virtual work experience and we are currently working on a scheme to engage local businesses with schools in the Daventry area.
Covid-19 and the economic disruption the pandemic has caused is likely to create employment problems for many of our local communities for years to come so new partnerships to support people into work are more important now than ever. Drop us a line at email@example.com to find out how we can work together to be part of the solution.