If you need to write, refresh or revise a key housing strategy, this series of five 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 multiple 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.

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    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 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 five workshops will focus on:

    Workshop one: Overview, planning and partnerships – Wednesday 25 May

    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.

    Workshop two: Data analysis and consultation – Thursday 23 June

    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.

    Workshop three: Emerging priorities, options and resources – Thursday 28 July

    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.

    Workshop four: Housing needs of particular groups and bringing it all together – Wednesday 24 August

    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!

    Workshop five: Putting it into action – implementing and delivering your strategy  – Tuesday 27 September 

    This last session starts with a brief refresher pulling all the learning from the previous sessions together. It then focuses on delivery – how to ensure your strategy makes a difference, and how to take forward the identified actions by ensuring they get embedded into work plans – whether that’s your own, other parts of your organisation, or partners.

    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 five, 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.

  • Our speakers

    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.

  • 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 [email protected]

    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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Dates and prices