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How to write a housing strategy: from theory into practice

  • Type HQN Event (Virtual)
  • Venue Virtual workshop
  • Start 27 Oct 2021 09:30
  • End 16 Feb 2022 13:30


How to write a housing strategy

Virtual workshop

If you need to write, refresh or revise a key housing strategy, this series of four practical workshops will guide you every step of the way.

HQN has been experiencing a significant increase in people asking for support to refresh key housing strategies. Whilst we’re always happy to roll up our sleeves and take on the lion’s share of such work, we’re also very aware that many organisations are working with significantly reduced budgets and needing to do a lot of this work in-house.

That’s why we have decided to launch a new programme, which combines access to consultancy support and information with a structured approach to developing a new strategy. The programme covers four workshops, taking you through each of the key stages. You’ll develop a project and consultation plan, review the data and gather evidence, appraise options and resources. You’ll also have access to HQN resources including relevant toolkits and briefings.

Strategy development often ends up in the ‘important but not urgent’ box: committing to the programme creates momentum and a deadline. You’ll also have support from others in the group, able to exchange ideas, and act as a sounding board.

Each workshop will equip you for the next stage of the work, so by the end of the four workshops you’ll have a complete draft of your new strategy – job done! The workshops will apply to any strategy with a housing focus, be this a housing strategy, homelessness strategy, tenancy strategy or similar. They will also apply whether you work for a local authority, RP or other housing provider.  

In order to complete your strategy within that timescale you’ll obviously need to set aside additional time to do the work – but for each stage you’ll have a clear idea of what you need to do and how to do it – effectively, and in line with best practice.

The programme will be delivered by HQN associate Wendy Murphy who will be with you every step of the way.

The four workshops will focus on:

Workshop one: Overview, planning and partnerships – Wednesday 27 October

By the end of this session, you’ll have a tailored action plan setting out the key stages of the work, and a consultation plan showing how you will involve partners and other stakeholders. You’ll have considered the merits of setting up a steering group, identified key risks to delivery, and considered national and local context, including other relevant strategies which need to be taken into account.

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Workshop two: Data analysis and consultation – Wednesday 17 November

By the end of this session, you’ll know where to get the data you need and how to address any gaps. You’ll also have a clear idea of the level of detail you need to include. In addition, you’ll have the opportunity to build on your consultation plan, thinking about key topics to be addressed and the use of different consultation mechanisms.

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Workshop three: Emerging priorities, options and resources – Wednesday 19 January

By this stage you’ll have some emerging priorities for action; this workshop will focus on options to deliver those priorities whether its increasing the delivery of new homes, opening up access to the private rented sector, preventing homelessness or taking a public health approach to housing. We’ll look at planning flexibly around uncertain resource levels, sources of funding and getting partners on board for delivery. By the end of this session you’ll have all the information you need to begin drafting your strategy.

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Workshop four: Housing needs of particular groups and bringing it all together – Wednesday 16 February

We’ve deliberately left the scope of the last workshop to be decided by the participants. Maybe you’re looking to increase your knowledge in a particular area, or you want to bounce some ideas off colleagues. This last session will give you the opportunity to explore challenges and solutions that are relevant to you. By the end of this session, completing your strategy will be plain sailing!

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And that’s not all…

Although the workshops are designed to work together, you can book for a single workshop using the links above. However, if you sign up for all four, you get significant added value! You’ll have access to:

  • Relevant HQN toolkits – there are specific toolkits for developing a housing, homelessness ore tenancy strategy and specialist toolkits covering areas such as enabling and housing for older people
  • Relevant HQN briefings – covering a range of topics, such as community-led and self-build housing, supported housing, domestic violence and abuse
  • A one-hour session with an HQN lead associate to discuss your strategy in more detail and help to ensure you are on track.

You’ll benefit from the experience of others and have plenty of opportunities to ask practical questions and explore ideas with others facing the same challenges.

About Wendy Murphy

Wendy Murphy is an experienced consultant who has worked in the housing sector for more than 30 years. She has undertaken a wide range of consultancy assignments for HQN, including projects on tenancies and allocations. She has written briefing papers for HQN on a wide range of topics, including emerging new approaches to housing management, tenancy strategies and policies, affordable rents, allocations and lettings, hard-to-let properties and partnership working.

Wendy was previously a senior manager with Bristol City Council where she was responsible for developing new approaches to housing management, including locally managed approaches and integration with a wider range of services. She was chair of Flourish Homes and sat on the Aster Group board for eight years. Wendy has run a large number of in-house and public training courses; her approach is practical and action orientated, ensuring that learning is embedded into the organisation. Wendy also works as a coach and facilitator.

If you are members of the following networks, this event will be beneficial. Not a member? Click the below links to find out more: 

The Housing Quality Network | The Innovation and Technology Network | The Leasehold NetworkThe Health and Safety Network | The Asset Management Network | The Residents Network | The Strategic Network | The Housing Management Network | The Housing Finance Network | The Rent Income Excellence Network | The Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Network 

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Further information

Delegate fees
All four workshops:
Full price: £525.00 *
Members of any HQN network: £400.00 *

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Individual workshops:
Full price: £175.00 *
Members of any HQN network: £150.00 *

To book individual workshops please use the links below each session.

* Please note that all prices are subject to standard VAT. Byte Size members do not qualify for member discounts or free places at this event. Please call 01904 557150 for more information.

Cancellations and substitutions:

If you are unable to attend an event or public training course, please let us know in writing (email is fine) at least 48 hours before. Please email

Otherwise, a cancellation fee of £60 plus VAT will be chargeable.

If you are using a package place to attend and do not inform us within the agreed time frame, then a place will be taken to cover your non-attendance.

Cancellations must be made in writing, and will be acknowledged by HQN Limited.


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