EFL Social Topic Group: Activities Update June 2020
The Social Topic Group has been working hard since lockdown and, despite the crisis, has developed a steering group for its central project: the Social Index Project via virtual communications. The steering group includes representation from Clúid (Republic of Ireland); Radius (Northern Ireland); Clarion (England); Paris Habitat (France); Vilogia (France) and Gewobag (Germany). Following the workshops at the EFL Co-Creation days 2020 in Amsterdam, key themes for the Social Index have been identified and a core set of survey questions agreed. Some of these questions were going to be included in the Gewobag resident survey in March, but this was postponed due to the onset of COVID19. The group hopes to resume progress with this project once business-as-usual has been re-established.
In response to the coronavirus crisis, the group are launching a set of COVID-19 specific questions as part of the Social Index, which members could use to understand the social impacts of the current situation on their residents. Questions focus on wellbeing, including mental health and loneliness; impacts on employment and income; access to food and medicines; and support received during the crisis. These questions are currently being asked as part of the annual Clarion resident survey – examples include:
- Have you been instructed to shield or self-isolate as a member of a vulnerable group?
- How well do you feel you are coping during the pandemic?
- What kind of impact has the pandemic impacted your household finances?
The steering group invites other EFL members to get involved in this project, with a view to comprehensively reporting on the social impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on social housing tenants across Europe.
Next Social Topic Group Webinar Meeting
A meeting of the Social Topic Group will take place via a webinar on 2nd July. It will be the first meeting chaired by the new Social Topic Group lead, John Stevens and will focus on the social issues raised by the coronavirus crisis. A short-term aim of the Social Topic Group will be to collate and publicise some of the good practice that has been developed by EFL members in response to COVID-19.
Subsequent meetings of the Social Topic Group will focus on forming new project ideas; developing tools for members; funding opportunities and possible partnerships.
MS Teams as a Collaborative Tool for the Social Topic Group
Use is also being made of the MS Teams site, including publicising pan-European research projects, such as the current University of Birmingham study, which is looking into the impacts of behaviour change projects undertaken by English and Dutch housing providers.