Midlands Equalities Forum Minutes of 21.7.14 Meeting

Midlands Equalities Forum
Action Points/Notes of Meeting held
21st July 2014
Venue – Severnside Housing, Brassey Road, Old Potts Way,
Shrewsbury, SY3 7FA
Jin Takhar
Andrew Petrie
Jo Patel
Susan Dell
Gillian Kirkman
Vincent Bryce
Robert Murray
Steven Simpson
Claire Bonnet
Frankie Stevens
Lisa Brett
Sarah Carrington
Paula Nicholls
Wolverhampton Homes (Chair)
Housing Diversity Network
Wolverhampton Homes
Severnside Housing
Affinity Sutton
Nottingham City Homes
Dudley Council
Harborne Parish Lands Charity
Midland Heart
Bromford Group
Bromford Group
Black Country Housing Group
Saima Farooq - Waterloo Housing Group
Wendy Powell – Caldmore Accord Housing Association
Kashmir Randhawa – Sandwell Homes
Gill Cook – Housing Diversity Network
Saroj Norman – Dudley Council
Hyacinth Austin - Walsall Housing Group
Vickie Bailey – Orbit Housing Group
Wendy Hambidge – Places for People
David Moss – Sanctuary Housing
Denise Maguire - Harborne Parish Lands Charity
Shay Withnall – Black Country Housing Group
Kate Warburton – National Housing Federation
Janet Rixon - Worcester Community Housing
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Welcome, Apologies and Minutes of last meeting
Jin Takhar, Chair opened the meeting by welcoming members.
Apologies received were noted and the minutes of the previous meeting
were accepted.
Organisational Updates
Unfortunately the speaker from the NHF was unable to attend due to
illness. Individuals were asked to provide an update on the work they
were currently involved in at their organisation.
Wolverhampton Homes:
Asked about whether anyone had seen an increase in domestic
violence. Severnside not seen an increase. Wolverhampton homes seen
an increase in financial abuse due to financial hardship – increase due
to welfare reform.
Bromford - seen increase in cannabis factories. Tenants (often single
mums) don’t feel they have a choice.
Wolverhampton Homes research – increase support pre-tenancy and
post tenancy. Introduce advocates and understand reasons for debt.
Black African Caribbean men.
Severnside – relatively high proportion of young people tenancies
Midland Heart:
Training staff on speaking out about inappropriate comments. Will follow
up to see if it has been effective.
Working with schools about Birmingham Bacculaureate.
Black Country Housing Group:
- EDI training
- Run a confidential helpline
- Local authorities finances are a challenge.
Dudley Council:
- Need to develop a financial inclusion strategy and digital inclusion
- Questions around the quality of customer profile data
- Benefit cap – small number (less than 100) but arrears increasing
- DHP masking some of the problems
Harborne Parish Lands:
- Grant making – seeing grant requests for repairs from individuals
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for council stock
Affinity Sutton:
- Mentoring residents
- Redoing BME mentoring programme internally
- Youth ambassadors – national scheme
- Unconscious bias training for involved residents
- Bromford Deal
- New tenants classified as red, amber or green
Wolverhampton Homes:
- Increase in domestic violence cases
- Providing sexual orientation training
- Customer profiling
- Workforce representation – addressing gaps in representation
- Hoarding – what good practice is out there? Find it is often
anxiety triggered.
Nottingham City Homes:
- Eyes wide open initiative – staff flag issues such as hoarding
- Polish community – signpost to success
- BME Survey
- Equality panel – panel assessed against SHEF, happy to share
- Straight Allies Initiative
- Positive Action Programme
- Audio CDs for Training
- Training for all staff
- Also, got tenant Central in to do training
- Financial and Digital Inclusion – fall’s under Sue’s remit
- Seeing increase in Eastern European communities. So support
available, set up support group for families (to run themselves)
Frankie Steven from Stonewall provided an overview of their Workplace
Equality Index and Diversity Champions initiatives.
One issue raised in the discussion was about dealing with homophobia
in sheltered accommodation.
HDN Update
AP explained the HDN and CIH have a joint E&D conference each year.
It will be held on 14th October in London this year. The broad theme is
‘where next for E&D’.
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Agenda items were discussed for next and future meetings:
Allocation Policies
Digital Inclusion Strategies
Social Value and Social Return on Investment – focus on this
for next meeting
Impact of Welfare Reforms, generally but particularly on
disadvantaged groups – eg BME families living in larger
(from previous minutes) Domestic Abuse, in particular how
Welfare Reform changes will be dealt with when someone needs
to move out of their existing home.
Date of next meeting:
30th September 2014
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