ARK Consultancy welcomes Greater Places Commission

Last year, the National Housing Federation launched a ‘Great Places’ Commission to better understand what makes a place great and consider how housing associations can work with government to create more successful places.

Released earlier this month, the final report draws on key recommendations from associations, stakeholders and local residents across the North and Midlands as to how great places to live can be developed across the county.

ARK has been a strong campaigner arguing that Local Authorities are key to the delivery of the new homes we so desperately need and support the call for providing LA’s with sustainable future funding to rebuild their capacity, and skills and enable them to lead and co-ordinate placemaking across every community.

We also strongly support calls for a new national regeneration strategy that explicitly prioritises places and people in the greatest need and places a heavy emphasis on good design standards.

Other recommendations within the report include:

  • The Government should enable improved local management of the private rented sector through a mandatory national landlord register and greater flexibility for councils to establish local licensing schemes.
  • The Government should require LA’s and LEP’s to ensure that Local Industrial Strategies have affordable housing as a central theme of those strategies.
  • Housing associations should commit to cross-sector partnership in each local area. This can provide vital leadership and amplify the sector’s impact in each community.
  • Anchor organisations, including housing associations, should commit to asset-based community development. This approach identifies and mobilises a community’s strengths and targets resources accordingly. Its objective is to ensure that services promoting wellbeing and opportunity are delivered effectively to those who need them most.
  • Housing association boards should review their approach to property sales and transfers to ensure the best outcomes for communities. Boards should always assure an ethical approach to any disposal.
  • Housing associations should embed wider community benefit requirements in their procurement strategies. They should investigate wealth-building strategies, which seek to capture and recirculate greater levels of local investment for social purposes.
  • Housing associations should proactively engage with local authorities and Local Enterprise Partnerships to ensure affordable housing and inclusive growth are central to Local Industrial Strategies.

To read the full report please click here.