Framework for the future

August 28th, 2019 in Home Group News

One of the country’s leading academics on housing and communities has developed a new framework which could act as the yardstick by which the impact of future social housing regeneration is measured across the UK.

Professor Anne Power, emeritus professor of social policy at the London School of Economics (LSE), and her team, have developed the framework in order to not only improve physical regeneration, but also social and environmental.

Housing regeneration has been in the spotlight for the wrong reasons recently, particularly regarding gentrification, and segregation in mixed tenure developments, which is perpetuating the stigma associated with social housing.

The new framework, developed through research following the evaluation of a major regeneration scheme in London by one of the UK’s largest housing associations, could help dampen such stigma.

More importantly, if adopted by housing associations UK wide, it could deliver unprecedented social value for low-income estates and communities.

The catalyst for the framework, which comprises five integral elements, was the 2016 evaluation of Home Group’s successful estate regeneration in Rayners Lane in North West London.

The LSE found that for every £1 invested in Rayners Lane, around £12 of social value was generated. That social value ranged from on-site housing management and support; giving residents a voice; supporting skills and employment, through to developing strong social and community bonds; a safer neighbourhood; promoting health and wellbeing and supporting financial inclusion.

Professor Power said: “Rayners Lane is an invaluable model of how to restore estates.

“Home Group has developed a successful regeneration model where almost the entire community is retained and rehoused on site, where estate-based management is in place, community facilities and open spaces are built into the design, and where a “neighbourhood planning” approach is the guiding principle.

“This holistic approach to estate upgrading brings together physical, financial, management, social and environmental investments to make neighbourhoods work. It allows for place-making, creates a sense of well-being and community, potentially improving health, skills and employment, and, crucially, neighbour relations.

“A key part of the framework is to base future plans on current neighbourhood conditions, performance, barriers to success and potential. The framework we’ve developed, draws on research evidence from Rayners Lane and international case studies.”

Maggie Gjessing, Director of Regeneration at Home Group, said: “The philosophy behind Rayners Lane, like it is with all of our regeneration projects, is about improving our customers’ lives and life chances over the long term, which in turn helps strengthen communities.

“Talking and listening to customers on whether to regenerate an estate is just the start of the process.  In applying this framework and tracking social, environmental and economic wellbeing throughout the regeneration, we can identify areas for improvement and form partnerships and develop strategies to target any particular challenge. This ensures what we deliver is fit-for-purpose.

“The framework developed by Prof Power and her team is now an integral part of our regeneration planning, process and outcomes. It is an excellent framework, one which can be adapted to suit by any housing association and for any size of regeneration across the UK.”

Read the LSE report.