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By Angela Lockwood, CEO, North Star.
I have all but given up on predictions as they are increasingly wrong, but I can share my thinking on what 2021 could hold for North Star and the North East.
We are a resilient and creative region, well used to taking the knocks and experienced at pulling ourselves up by the boot straps and making things happen.
Covid has massively impacted and as ever we will find ourselves at the wrong end of every deprivation table; an already challenged region pre Covid that will need to dig deep.
However, I know we will make the current Homes England investment programme work in the region somehow and continue building houses because they are needed.
We will increase our focus on communities that will need attention like never before and work with them in whatever way is required, because we are deeply connected.
Our drive for regeneration will not diminish because we know it is essential for economic growth and our message in fact will be amplified with expectations from the “new” politicians to deliver the levelling up agenda. We will do all we can to support people into work, claim benefits, manage debt, feed families and we will provide an environment where people can find hope and a way through with dignity and respect.
We will consider what is needed to tackle increasingly transparent inequality starting with our own organisations. We will forge even stronger collaborative partnerships to enable all of this to happen and will be at our best creatively, sharing solutions and experimenting where needed.
The Housing Associations in the region have strong relationships with a shared set of values that transcends competitiveness and this will continue as we are a force for good.
I know we will work effectively using our skills and experience to make things better. History tells us that North Easterners are at their best when their backs are against the wall and this will be tested fully in 2021 and beyond.