HACT resilience research initiative

The Covid-19 pandemic has brought the issue of resilience to the fore. 

For the social housing sector, resilience is critical, for our residents, as well as the communities in which we operate. 

This project will develop a framework to understand and measure resilience in social housing.

Understanding resilience

There isn’t a commonly understood and agreed definition of resilience in the UK social housing sector. As a sector, there are challenges in understanding what resilience looks like for our residents and their communities. This has implications for how we measure and quantify the impact of our services. 

Resilience and factors of vulnerability have long been an issue in the sector, with the Covid-19 pandemic compounding these issues and bringing them to the fore. Ongoing and recurrent lockdowns will continue to position vulnerability and resilience as key concerns for social housing organisations and society as a whole. 

The Covid-19 pandemic has also provided opportunities for us to learn, address capability issues and build on the motivation and enthusiasm embodied in our response to enhance and improve our social purpose. 

The initiative

HACT is inviting housing associations from across the UK to get involved with a new exciting piece of research to develop a new framework for understanding and measuring resilience in the social housing sector. 

Your involvement would include co-developing and testing this new framework as part of a consortium of sector leaders and contributing financially towards the research initiative. 

We want to create a framework that enables housing providers to work in a more proactive and preventative mode of support and resource allocation. 

The HACT resilience research initiative will focus on:

  • Identifying, defining and quantifying existing and emerging resilience factors to create a suite of indicators for resilience in different areas; 
  • Developing a conceptual model of resilience that focuses on the factors that contribute towards the resilience of residents and communities; 
  • Developing better data collection processes to contribute towards a more joined-up evidence base for effective and efficient investment decisions as the sector continues to respond to the Covid-19 crisis and subsequently shifts to recovery mode.

Benefits of your involvement

Being involved in this project will benefit your organisation both in participating in the research, testing and applying the outcomes, as well as in being part of the consortium driving the initiative forward. 

You will collaborate with other sector leaders, sharing learning, building internal capabilities and demonstrating your commitment to improving the lives of your residents and communities.

You will improve your understanding of your residents’ needs, shape services that prioritise those most in need and enhance your responsiveness. Project partners will be able to move from a reactive to a proactive approach in supporting residents and address service issues.

Next steps

We are inviting expressions of interest to take part in this initiative by the end of November. We will be launching the initiative in December 2020. 

The total cost of the research initiative will be shared by all partner social housing organisations and will be £5,250 per organisation. 

A number of leading social housing organisations have already expressed an interest in joining us. 

To get involved, contact Frances Harkin, Head of Research, HACT: frances.harkin@hact.org.uk 

Find out more

Check out our short information leaflet that tells you all you need to know about HACT's resilience and research initiative.


Click here to download the leaflet

Click here to find out what kinds of research services we can deliver for you.