Latest News

digital housing week day 3


  25 JUNE, 2020
Here is what we learnt on day 3 of Inside Housing's Digital Housing Week (22nd - 26th June 2020).  What is the impact on social housing supply since building has stalled and what will capacity look like post Covid-19? Session attended by BD and Market Insight Manager Paul Williams The construction sector has experienced a 15-20% productivity hit and is not expected to recover fully, until 2022, with labour availability being a major factor, particularly if a hard Brexit occurs. The housing sector is seen as leading in terms of professionalism in construction and the Construction Leadership Council is looking for other parts of construction to follow this example. There is a significant focus on demonstrating MMC is both efficient and cost effective, but acceptance that there is a lack of confidence in the product. Joined up policy making between disposal of public land and the need for more affordable housing can result more affordable homes being delivered. The London Mayors, Land Fund has already demonstrated this approach. Key messages from Head of Partnerships, Peter Hordley and Housing Partnership Manager Sue Minkely The value of the construction industry to the country – every £1 spent in construction has a value of £3 in the wider economy (Ann Bentley, Rider Levett Bucknall). The crisis has accelerated the introduction of some real, potentially long-lasting changes & benefits, such as: Creative use of technology with virtual diagnostic inspections, positive resident engagement & support – particularly for the most vulnerable, and greater online engagement with residents about how services should be delivered (Jennifer Ryans, Housing Ombudsman Service). The crisis has forced us to make changes to the way that services are delivered giving the sector the space to reshape delivery completely, push through strategic improvements and make 2020/21 the year of real change for the better (Rob Morley, KWL). The greater use of technology is the key both with communicating with residents - providing training via webinars, using devices to diagnose faults, and minimising time on site etc - all of which is expected to continue going forward. Sign up to Digital Housing Week You can sign up to see all sessions from Digital Housing Week for free by visiting the website here >>
day 2 digital housing week from inside housing


  24 JUNE, 2020
The landscape of the economy post-pandemic and the issue of homelessness discussed on day 2 of Inside Housing's Digital Housing Week (22nd - 26th June 2020). The economy after the pandemic – what will the lasting effects be on our social and political landscape? Session attended by BD and Market Insight Manager Paul Williams As Brexit is now expected to be a hard Brexit, it will require an additional £200-£300bn of investment from the government to prevent an economic slump. Corporate growth is expected to be slower than before the pandemic with recovery taking 5-10 years. The Government may consider cuts in VAT and stamp duty. Housing Associations can support, anchor and connect communities through investment of “patient capital” to build better neighbourhoods and investing in blighted areas, but must also engage with their LEPs. Whilst Local Authorities mobilised quickly to support their communities through Covid-19, an agile and dynamic approach will follow where the renewal, recovery and rebuilding of services will be required, to reflect the future needs of communities. Fundamentally, the Government need to give up some power to enable local communities to influence their future. Key messages from Head of Partnerships, Peter Hordley Change brings opportunities to do things differently, to innovate and fix the old problems, and move forward with optimism and renewed vigour with new solutions to new issues – Prof Trevor Williams (an economist) Social Housing sector is well placed to weather the growing economic storm because it has planned for crises as part of the RSH stress testing requirement – Will Perry, RSH. It is the place of the social housing sector to invest where others won’t, build better communities and support vulnerable people in ways that others can’t – Sinead Butters, Aspire Housing. Homelessness: Is everyone still in? Session attended by Housing Partnership Manager Sue Minkely We are awaiting a government announcement on extra funding for local councils to continue some of the elements of “everyone in” The need to learn from regions where local authorities have had an innovative and a proactive approach to homelessness. More accurate data is required about homelessness numbers to be able to support the cause and provide long term solutions. Affordable housing is the heart of the solution - Everyone deserves the right to decent quality housing and the benefit cap has made affordability worse in certain regions and needs resolving. Nobody returns to the streets – a substantial amount of people are currently accommodated in hotels or similar emergency housing, are at risk of returning to the streets unless there are measures to provide transition to suitable accommodation. Sign up to Digital Housing Week You can sign up to see all sessions from Digital Housing Week for free by visiting the website here >>
digital housing day 1


  22 JUNE, 2020
This week, our Novus colleagues will be giving their key takeaway messages from a range of sessions from Inside Housing's Digital Housing Week (22nd - 26th June 2020). Here is our round up of day 1. An evaluation of how the sector has managed during the challenging time of Covid-19 Attended by Housing Partnership Manager – Sue Minkley It was incredibly clear that the level of tenant engagement remains absolutely paramount, with a continued emphasis on identifying where help and support is needed. Tenants are the housing provider’s most important stakeholders and focusing on their safety, lives, livelihoods, and welfare is crucial. The exceptional levels of communication observed during the pandemic must continue to be a priority. Clear, transparent communication can shape understanding as to what services are needed and how they may be delivered in the future. The sector has shown great resilience, responding with agility. The focus has been on front line services – acting on core values and providing an essential service in order to meet the needs of tenant communities. Even during this challenging time, building safety must never be ignored and we must keep safety inspection programmes going as well as maintaining emergency repair services. Develop stress tested business plans designed around the “what if” scenario – making sure these plans are viable and robust for any further adverse circumstances. How can we make it financially viable to become carbon zero? Attended by Head of Partnerships Peter Hordley & BD and Market Insight Manager Paul Williams To meet the Net Carbon Zero challenge by 2050 for social housing stock we, as a sector/industry, will have to improve 3,000 homes every week for the next 30 years – a challenge in terms of workforce resources, supply chain capacity, logistics and funding that has to be overcome. The longer we leave it, the greater the challenge becomes and the more damage we are doing to our planet. The need for long term government support and policy making on the green agenda, with a hint of frustration regarding the previously abandoned new build standards. Retrofitting of homes is likely to cost between £20k and £36k (BRE), Savills (£25k to £28K) with the additional cost on a new build home (in addition to the standard build cost) being around £30k at current prices. Innovation and partnership were seen as critical approaches to achieve the 2050 target. Sign up to Digital Housing Week You can sign up to see all sessions from Digital Housing Week for free by visiting the website here >>
safe working environments covid-19


  09 JUNE, 2020
Novus are working hard to create safe working environments. To mark our commitment to covid-19 safety, we have released a new safe working brochure and video. Helping clients get back to work safely Novus colleagues are adapting to a new way of working to ensure the safety of themselves, our clients, and customers. We are dedicated to providing the same high level of service you have come to expect from Novus, whilst following the necessary precautions to protect everyone involved from the threat of coronavirus. Our working practices and environments have been transformed and our colleagues are embracing the ‘new normal’. To provide you with some further reassurance, we would like to share our Covid-19 secure working practices with you. For full details, click to download our "Creating safe working environments" brochure or watch our latest video:   Safely working in customers' homes We understand that this is a difficult time for everyone and that you may have concerns about Novus Operatives being in your home, which is why we would like to take this opportunity to reassure you that the safety of you and our colleagues is and always will be, our top priority. Safe Distancing Where possible, operatives will maintain a social distance between themselves and others. Travel Where possible, operatives will travel to your home alone or in groups of two using their own transport or works vehicle. Hygiene Our operatives will regularly use anti-bacterial gel when working or changing tasks and clean down any surfaces they come into contact with. Tools Each operative will work with assigned tools, which (where possible) are not to be shared. If they do need to be shared, it is with one other operative only. Communication Before any work starts at your home, we will discuss with you how we will carry out the work and the measures we have in place to keep you and us safe.
Hannah O'Brien
Telephone: 07854 781631


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