Poverty Pay and Rotten Housing for Housing Association & Voluntary workers

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2018 Community Service Group Conference
10 November 2017
Carried as Amended

This conference notes

a)A Chief Executive of a Large Housing Association recently remarked at a meeting that many of the workers and their families employed by the association to support and rehouse the homeless lived in worse accommodation than the people they were trying to help.

b)Years of below inflation pay rises and massive increase in rents and property prices means that many Housing Association and Voluntary workers live in privately rented shared, damp, expensive, overcrowded and insecure homes.

c)Most of their income is spent on rent and travel costs with nothing left over in order to save for a better quality home.

d)Housing Associations and Voluntary sector who operate in expensive property areas have a duty and responsibility to their workforce to ensure that they live in suitable and affordable accommodation.

e)If a Housing Association or Voluntary sector worker is inadequately housed and living in poverty then the service they provide to residents and clients will also be adversely affected.

f)Historically, Housing Associations and other housing providers in the past did provide accommodation for some of their workers and today many still provide service tenancies to staff. Others provide “Key worker” accommodation.

g)Housing Associations are also major developers as well as Landlords who build homes for sale, shared ownership, provide Student and supported accommodation as well as market, near market and social rents. They are uniquely able to provide housing solutions to their workers.

This Conference resolves:-

1)To call upon the Community Service Group Executive to continue to campaign with UNISON Labour Link, NEC and other stakeholders including lobbying political parties in positions of power and influence in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, branches, regions and self organised Groups for extra funding for the sector and better wages for staff including sector pay boards;

2)To also work with the National Housing Federation and Voluntary sector employer organisations to campaign for their workers to be treated as “key workers” and for them to provide safe, secure and affordable homes for them if needed.;

3)To also work with the Co-operative movement to see if a co-operative housing model could provide decent homes for housing association and voluntary sector workers and their families.