Housing association Clarion Housing Group – one of the largest of its kind in the country, looking after 125,000 homes and planning to build 50,000 more over the next ten years – has launched a new charitable foundation, Clarion Futures, which will use a £150 million investment fund to provide skills and opportunities for its social housing residents.
The aim of the project is to provide support to over 350,000 Clarion Housing Group residents and their communities through three core functions: jobs and training, money and digital, and communities.
Clarion already has an established employment support service, collaborating with major employers such as Sainsbury’s, Primark and Pret a Manger to help develop residents’ skills and find them work. The plan is to expand the jobs and training arm of Clarion Futures, aiming to support 4,000 people into work every year, including at least 250 people into apprenticeships, through positions at Clarion and with other employers.
Keith Exford CBE, group chief executive, says: “Critics of the housing sector sometimes claim we have lost our social purpose, they couldn’t be more wrong. Our mission is to change lives and communities for the better and Clarion Futures will allow us to do this on a bigger and more ambitious scale than ever before.”
The chair of Clarion Futures, Sue Killen, adds: “With the national spotlight on social housing, I am especially proud we are launching Clarion Futures now. We are not just a social landlord, what drives everyone at Clarion is the desire to maximise the opportunities we provide to our residents. Clarion Futures will build on our record of delivery and enable us to transform the lives of thousands more people.”