Acting on Localism
Working with think-tank Respublica, SRC’s two Directors, Pete Duncan and Sally Thomas, have recently published their latest report – Acting on Localism: the role of housing associations in driving a community agenda.
Hazel Blears MP, vice-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Social Enterprise helped us launch our report in Westminster on November 27th 2012. She said: “At first I thought housing associations were supposed to be bottom-up community organisations, but as I watched this movement develop, it was actually heart-breaking to see all the energy and passion drained out of them.”
“This report is reinvigorating that social passion, while providing very practical recommendations.”
Housing associations have a proud history of providing much needed homes for hundreds of thousands of low income households. But in recent years they have lost some of their popularity, with politicians and with local communities. Relentless growth, mainly through mergers, constant re-branding and rising rents have led some commentators to question whether housing associations have lost sight of their original vision and social ethos. Certainly some of the larger associations – now with more than 50,000 homes under management – are undoubtedly big businesses operating in complex markets. Have they lost their passion as a result? We think many of them have. We also think housing associations should be more social and more local than they are. Some forward thinking associations are leading the way and are highlighted in our Acting on Localism report. We urge others to join them!
The report was summarised in New Start magazine in December 2012. You can read the summary here