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As part of our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Strategy and Action Plan, we regularly review our progress.  

Here you’ll find information on what our priorities are (our EDI objectives) and how we’re doing on them so far. Whenever we review our progress, we’ll update this page so you can see how we’re doing too. 

Our aims

To ensure organisational culture reflects Connect’s commitment to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.

What have we done so far? 

  • We have been strengthening the role of our EDI Working Group. It’s made up of 14 colleagues from across Connect and oversees progress against our EDI Action Plan.
  • Connect is member of the Housing Diversity Network (HDN). At a strategic level we actively participate in the National Housing Federation (NHF) networks and HDN’s Northern Diversity Group.
  • All staff complete mandatory EDI training and attend training on the NHF Code of Conduct. The e-learning module is also mandatory for board members.

Where do we need to do better?

  • We have some data gaps in our colleague profiles and don’t yet collect all the demographic data asked for by the National Housing Federation.  We will improve this in 2024-2025 with a targeted campaign.
  • EDI profile data shows that the disability profile of colleagues, and the Board, is not reflective of the local population in the areas where we work or of our tenant population. We will work to better present ourselves as a Disability Confident employer.

To ensure customers have access to homes and services that help them live happy, healthy lives.

What have we done so far?

  • Every year we analyse and report on data about access to Connect services e.g. who we are letting homes to, who our Money Matters service has supported, complaints and satisfaction levels. We do this to identify where there are areas of under or over representation amongst particular groups e.g. people with a disability, or people from certain ethnic backgrounds. The EDI Working Group is tracking progress against actions. 
  • We are committed to providing support where we can, either directly or by signposting to others that can help.

Where do we need to do better? 

  • We  intend to review the effectiveness of the translation and interpretation services we use.
  • We will improve our EDI profile data and knowledge of tenants needs through a tenant census.

To have a governing body and workforce that is diverse and representation of the communities we service.

What have we done so far?

  • We have improved the diversity of our Board including have a prospective future Board Member participating in the Housing Diversity Network board development programme. We have set diversity targets for the Board and workforce to reflect the local population in the areas where we provide homes and services. 
  • We are making changes to our recruitment practice aimed at encouraging applications from as diverse a group of candidates as possible. 
  • We set up a Customer Experience Working Group using data and insight to understand the experience of customers with protected characteristics.

Where do we need to do better?

  • We really want to hear the diverse views and voice of customers at all levels, whether that’s about things that happen in a local area, how services are delivered or influencing decision-making at the Service Improvement Forum or Board. We are starting to see small improvements but there is more we can do. 

To have comprehensive EDI data to better understand customer needs, so that equality impact assessments are robust and service delivery can be tailored.

What have we done so far?

  • We have begun to publish EDI data on our workforce, Board, and customer base on our website, which you can find here 
  • We have set some key performance measures for our EDI commitments and will report these to the Board each quarter and publish how we are doing here on our website. 

Where do we need to do better?

  • We know that there are some gaps in our customer data, whilst we capture this at tenancy sign up, we haven’t carried out a census in recent years to check the data remains up to date. We plan to do this in the Autumn of 2024.

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Connect Housing Association Limited is a charitable association registered in England and Wales under the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014 (Company No. IP17445R) and with the Regulator of Social Housing (No. L2285).

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