In researching this year’s alternative delivery models event, one common theme kept coming up: the importance of safe and secure housing and the organisations which are providing this service.
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, written in 1943, describes shelter as a fundamental physiological human need, alongside air, water and food. You don’t get much more important than that. So perhaps it isn’t surprising that in looking at alternative models for delivering public services, we found housing in the middle of it all.
But it isn’t just that the provision of a warm, safe and secure home is crucially important to a person’s stability and wellbeing. The various organisations across Wales which are charged with delivering housing services are leading the way on some innovative, preventative, collaborative and impactful projects across a variety of service areas. They are delivering services which might normally have had to be delivered by another public body or that are preventing demand on one or multiple public bodies; and they are partnering with public bodies, third sector, citizens and each other to deliver these services. In terms of the Wellbeing for Future Generations Act, despite not being legislated by it, the housing sector is leading the way on how to implement it.
Housing organisations are well-placed to understand the needs of their tenants, they are ‘on the doorstep’, and are pushing forward with a wide range of projects to support their tenants. Trish Hoddinott (Melin Homes), who is presenting a workshop at our event about a schools programme, summed it up for me when she said, “These are our tenants of the future and we want them to be healthy, happy and economically viable.” This is the kind of preventative, long term thinking that will help to deliver the Wales We Want and to fulfil the seven goals of the Wellbeing for Future Generations Act.
The Welsh Government’s recent publication of its Programme for Government, ‘Taking Wales Forward 2016-2021’, puts secure housing as a priority for a Prosperous and Secure Wales. It also talks about improving and reforming public services and facing issues through new ways of working, joined up programmes and working across traditional boundaries.
With this seminar, we will be showcasing some of the projects that we found during our research for this event. These projects are tackling issues with young people, older people, domestic violence, mental health, supported housing, and in rural communities. They are supporting people to stay in their homes and to ensure better outcomes for them. They include partnerships, collaborations and multi-agency projects from across the sectors. They are exemplifying prevention through intervention. They are breaking through traditional boundaries. As Matt Dicks (Chartered Institute of Housing), one of our panel members, stated “Small projects and frontline changes to the way we plan services could drive and push forward changes at a higher strategic level”.
There are many challenges that lie ahead for all organisations providing services to the public. How best can we all work together to deliver the most effective services possible for all citizens? Who needs to drive partnerships? Who needs to be around the table? Who is best-placed to deliver that service? Thinking differently about how services are delivered is what alternative delivery models is all about.
Our Alternative Delivery Models event is being held in Cardiff on November 22nd and in Llanrwst on December 7th. Click on the link to register.