Nowadays, ‘community regeneration’, ‘community empowerment’ and ‘assets-based approaches’ are all high on the Scottish Government’s policy agenda. Doing all of these things is part of the CCHA movement’s DNA. From the late 1970s onwards, as well as providing decent, affordable housing, community controlled housing associations and co-operatives have been providing an amazing array of services and facilities, all designed to make their local communities better places to live, and to offer opportunities to local people.
The bigger picture
Our members are involved in community regeneration and wider role activities in many different ways:
- As part of their core business as landlords
- Through partnerships, with voluntary and community organisations or public bodies
- Through their own subsidiary organisations, such as social enterprise companies or community development trusts
The scale of regeneration activity varies. For some organisations, it’s a relatively modest part of their overall role. But for many others, community regeneration is well-established as a substantial part of what they do. For all CCHAs though, the key aim of their wider role work is to improve the quality of life for people in disadvantaged neighbourhoods.
GWSF’s work on community regeneration
We take a close interest in community regeneration policy. With greater pressure than ever on public services and public spending, we firmly believe that community-based solutions to tackling neighbourhood issues, social problems and even delivering some public services are more relevant than ever.
To take these ideas forward, we help our members promote the sharing of ideas and good practice, and we lobby for changes in policy thinking at national and local level.
We have built close working relationships with others in the voluntary, community and social enterprise sectors including the Scottish Community Alliance, Glasgow Council for the Voluntary Sector and the Glasgow Disability Alliance.
Our Regeneration Partnership Project
Our Regeneration Partnership Project funded by the Scottish Government’s Third Sector Directorate has been up and running since 2014. The Project is led by GWSF’s Regeneration Partnership Consultant, Liz McEntee, who works with the Forum one day a week on this Project. The Project aims to raise the profile of the ‘wider role’ work of community controlled housing associations and to foster links with local and national third sector bodies. It aims to facilitate the sharing of learning and good practice, particularly through the Project’s Community Regeneration Learning Network, which holds regular sessions on a variety of issues such as social enterprise, services for older people, and applying for Big Lottery funding. If you would like to be added to the mailing list for the Network please contact Eleanor McCormack at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 0141 946 0645.
Briefings summarising CRLN sessions are available below
GWSF’s summer 2016 Regeneration Conference
Our summer regeneration conference was a resounding success! Over 80 delegates joined us at Cadder HA’s brand new community centre on the day which was focused on the People and Communities Fund. A variety of members showcased their PCF projects at café sessions and these covered everything from community gardens to tackling fuel poverty.
The plenary speakers included Lesley Fraser, Director for Housing, Regeneration and Welfare at the Scottish Government, Andy Milne, Chief Executive at SURF and Dr. Oliver Escobar, Lecturer in Public Policy at Edinburgh University and Co-Director of ‘What Works Scotland. Andy’s and Oliver’s presentations can be accessed below.
All of the speakers recognised the great work that CCHAs do in their communities and the feedback from members was overwhelmingly positive.
Promoting digital inclusion
Helping local people get online: GWSF has a Digital Toolkit for housing associations, prepared in early 2016 by Glasgow Kelvin College with funding from the Scottish Government. See it here We aim to update the Toolkit at regular intervals, including by adding new case studies of housing association initiatives to get local people connected to help with employability, financial/benefit matters and reducing social isolation. Tell us if you have suggestions about adding to the Toolkit site.
See the four presentations from our 25 October 2016 event on housing associations and digital inclusion: