Jahanara Rajkoomar is Director of Community Investments for Metropolitan Thames Valley and a Leadership 2025 graduate.
Inflation and the cost-of-living crisis means tools to help struggling residents no longer work, he says. Jahanara Rajkooma
Residents at the mercy of rising food prices (Photo: Alamy)
@MetTVH #UKhousing’s Jahanara Rajkoomar said the inflation and cost of living crisis means tools to help economically distressed residents are crumbling.
“Like my optimists, I was hoping the mini-budget would provide more of that light at the end of the tunnel, but it wasn’t the budget for the residents we were concerned about.” @MetTVH’s Jahanara Rajkoomar says #UK housing
Much has been written recently about the impact of the cost of living crisis. I don’t want to talk about how bad it is or is about to happen to our residents. We all know and we don’t want to sit back and let them continue with it. Many housing associations have support services, partnership agreements with professional organizations and distress funds in place to help residents Some of the ‘safety’ nets in A hallmark of what we do can be found in a recent showcase of the scale of the work we offer: At Metropolitan Thames Valley Housing (MTVH), at the end of August he will have 1,500 residents but the main challenge to tackle was financial difficulties.
“All the tools and techniques we previously used to stabilize our finances, such as working more hours, spending less, etc., have not had the same effect.”
But all this continues to expand, and residents continue to suffer daily from economic pressures. A member of my team told me a few weeks ago that “the road is running out” for many of the people we support. All the tools and techniques we used before to stabilize our finances (working more hours, spending less, etc.) have not had the same effect. why? Because the external “goalposts” are changing almost daily. The cost of simple groceries is increasing day by day.
It’s demoralizing for many of my team. Before the Ukrainian War, my team felt empowered. Because they were able to use all the tools of advice trading to effect change that “fixed” things for many people. Well, more often than not, what we do is stick plaster until the external factors settle (we’re perpetual optimists).
“As an optimist as I am, I wished the mini-budget would provide more light at the end of the tunnel, but as many economists have already said much better than I do, it’s going to cost residents It wasn’t a budget for
As a sector, we have many competing priorities, including fire/building safety, decarbonisation, building more homes, investing in existing homes, in addition to the need to provide excellent landlord services. . And now, the uncertainty around rent payments puts a lot of pressure on business plans, or simply plans.
So, here’s why I decided to write this piece. The band-aid for many people we work with is the difference between seeing a little shaft of light at the end of a tunnel and being in bed with the curtains drawn (indefinitely). has many examples.
Like my optimist, I was hoping the mini-budget would provide more of that light at the end of the tunnel, but as many economists have already said much better than I can, I’m It wasn’t a budget for the residents we have…all concerns. It is absolutely true that many residents do not turn on the heating.
“We can’t keep everyone’s finances stable, but the current plasters we can manage can keep our residents one step off the cliff.”
Some people have health conditions and families and become elderly. I don’t know about all of them or what they are going through. By the end of winter, no one knows what that means for their well-being. But if the unthinkable happens to any resident of our home, there’s no doubt that a few fingers will be pointed at us.
What should I do then? It’s easy. Keep doing what you want to do. Let’s not forget our social purpose. We are more than the physical homes we provide. During the pandemic, our social cause has resulted in thousands of calls to check-in with “vulnerable” households to make sure everything was okay.
Against the backdrop of the aforementioned business challenges, we should not underestimate the work we are doing to keep our residents as lively as possible. Yes, we can’t keep everyone’s finances stable, but the current plasters we can manage can keep our residents one step off the cliff. I accept. By staying true to our social purpose, we can continue to put a roof over our heads and continue to do what makes the most impact. Continue to be a helping hand on your level.
A poem by Rudyard Kipling. If It comes to mind as I write this. The world feels crazy, bad and ugly right now. But we need and can “keep our heads up when all (of us) lose their stuff and blame it on us.”
Jahanara Rajkoomar, Community Investment Director, Metropolitan Thames Valley