Headlines: March 20th, 2002

A new survey of social housing providers shows concern that the pace of change in the sector could be hampered by a lack of skills.The survey has been undertaken by Zurich Municipal Management Services ahead of this week’s National Housing Federation (NHF) Finance Conference 2002.

Those surveyed think public satisfaction with housing providers has grown as a result of the greater range of services and more diverse range of partnership working arrangements that exist in the sector.

But there is a concern that staff skills and capacity are insufficient to cope. One quarter of respondents felt that staff in their organisation did not have a sufficiently broad range of experiences and training to meet the governance challenges of diversification into new service areas.

More than half felt the provision of new services and the formation of local strategic partnerships could be hampered by a shortage of staff with the necessary financial and business skills. Again more than half felt the pace of change and growing expectations placed on housing providers is placing too much strain on their staff.

The NHF Finance Conference 2002 takes place today (Wednesday, March 20) and tomorrow at the University of Warwick, Coventry.