Interim report from the Great Places Commission
Established in March 2018 by the National Housing Federation, the Great Places Commission has recently released its interim report, which summarises the Commission’s findings so far, and sets out 14 discussion points that it would like to explore in more detail. These discussion points are organised by four themes, as follows:
- What would a sector-wide commitment to asset-based community development look like, and how can the sector, alongside partners, support communities to take action for themselves?
- What role can housing associations play in facilitating strong and sustainable relationships and developing social capital through their approach to communal spaces, the physical environment, and design?
- How can housing associations use their existing land and assets to build trust with communities and demonstrate their commitment to genuine collaboration?
- Could the housing association sector develop a collaborative and creative proposal for using the Apprenticeship Levy to maximise the local impact on education, skills and employment needs?
- How can housing associations jointly maximise their impact on a place through their approaches to procurement, employment, investment and training and skills?
- How can housing associations best use their non-residential property assets to support the community and local social enterprises?
- How can the design and management of new and existing places ensure they are inclusive and sustainable? Should ‘child-friendly places’ become the norm?
- Should Total Place analysis be refreshed and updated for the 21st century, and if so, how?
- How can local authorities and their partners ensure that community development and co-creation are central to their approach and operations?
- What role should national and local governments play in:
- Intervening in poor-quality private rented sector markets and catalysing wider renewal in depressed housing markets?
- Driving collaboration between government agencies to deliver inclusive economic outcomes?
- Increasing local authority capacity in the fields of regeneration and inclusive economies?
- Investing to rebalance the economy and reduce regional inequalities?
- How can we ensure inclusive economies are at the heart of Local Industrial Strategies, and that housing associations and other anchor institutions are influential in their development and delivery?
- Could housing associations explore an ‘offer for communities’, and what would it entail?
- How can housing associations ensure they are maximising their economic and social impact? Could they develop a framework which provides options for how to best spend the ‘housing association pound’?
- What would a housing association ‘ethical disposal policy’ involve, and how could it successfully balance the financial and operational needs of associations with local community interests and priorities?
The report contains detailed discussion of the findings that have informed the development of the discussion points, and the Commission invites feedback from stakeholders, professionals and other interested parties. The report can be downloaded in full from the National Housing Federation’s website.