The Rethinking Homes Network brings new insights and ideas into social housing, challenging the sector to reach its potential. The network is focused on rethinking empty homes and allocation processes in social housing. This is because this is where tenants and social landlords first meet. Get it wrong, and the ripple-outs can be expensive for landlords and devastating for tenants, especially those who already have a problematic relationship with home.
The Rethinking Homes Network originated through my thesis research. This work examines how psychological insights into how we think and behave are being applied by social landlords in their work. One of the approaches looked positive*; tenants were fully engaged in designing an intervention that worked for themselves. Landlords were challenged to reflect on their biases and how work processes could be reformed to meet the needs of tenants. The thinking underpinning this project was a constellation of ideas that centred the value of trusting relationships, that tenants are already doing their best in often constrained circumstances, that well-being is less a measurable outcome, and more about the freedom to choose ‘your own adventure’. What was missing from this framework were insights into the place of home. My thesis work married geographical insights into the home with the constellation of ideas that had informed the innovative initiative. It is this bespoke framework that fuels the innovative thinking and approach of the Rethinking Homes Network.
To find out more about the network and to work with us to change the allocation of empty homes in social housing, register for our launch event at https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/university/colleges/les/events/2022/rethinking-empty-homes-and-allocations-in-social-housing.aspx
*Check out the approach at www.rent-flex.com