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 their 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, Glasgow Council for the Voluntary Sector, the Scottish Refugee Council and Glasgow Disability Alliance.
Our Community Regeneration & Learning Network (CRLN).
Our Community Regeneration & Learning Network (CRLN) evolved from our Regeneration Partnership Project which was funded by the Scottish Government’s Third Sector Directorate and which ran from 2014 to 2016. The CRLN 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 also seeks to facilitate the sharing of learning and good practice amongst GWSF members and other colleagues in the housing sector. The Network holds regular sessions on a variety of issues such as social enterprise, services for older people, and applying for 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.
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.