How to create community assets

  Since 1992, several hundred homes in a corner of west London have been the standard-bearers of a new form of community control. Previously owned by Westminster Council, they were transferred to a resident-controlled housing association, Walterton and Elgin Community Homes, under the 1988 ‘tenants’ choice’ legislation. Walterton and Elgin Community Homes (WECH) arose from […]

Why local works: the story of Giroscope

On the front page of Giroscope’s website is a three point pledge to its tenants. It sounds like the sort of thing some big, commercially minded landlords would do, but the content of this small Hull charity’s promise is rather different: • So long as the conditions of the tenancy are met, you have the right […]

Can a revived New Towns movement solve the housing crisis?

A new age of new towns and garden cities could be the solution to the affordable housing crisis in the UK, according to deputy prime minister Nick Clegg, writes Alex Douet. In a speech to the National House Building Council recently in which he announced a government investment of £225 million in new homes, Mr […]

Can social landlords be agents of local economic change?

A few years ago the Joseph Rowntree Foundation produced a report entitled Person or place-based policies to tackle disadvantage? Not knowing what works. The title was a fitting, if depressing, summary of more than two decades of research and practice. The current government has decided that the answer to this conundrum is to stop looking […]

Inspiration of the week: South London’s urban forest

Hidden from incessant passing traffic at the busy south London junction of Elephant and Castle is an unusual urban forest. It’s a haven for wildlife and a home for 450 mature trees, planted 40 years ago when the Heygate Estate was built as affordable housing for local people. Now, after a long and acrimonious campaign […]

Introducing the Deighton and Brackenhall tapes

Over the last few days we’ve been carrying out a series of in-depth interviews in north Huddersfield, examining the progress made by the Deighton and Brackenhall Initiative. The initiative has been working for a decade to improve what were some of the poorest areas of Kirklees in west Yorkshire. The work has included the demolition […]

Seven steps from ghost town to host town

Last month another city fell victim to the credit crunch as the £300m Summer Row shopping development in Wolverhampton was axed. But was it really such bad news? It might just be that Wolverhampton has been saved from one of the last of the dinosaurs. According to its promoters, Summer Row was going to bring […]