Releasing the Community Investment potential of social housing organisations

TSRC is conducting a partnership project with HACT to develop work on social impact, localism and community investment.

The housing sector is currently experiencing unprecedented change in capital investment, inspection and regulation, and policies such as welfare reform and localism.  The project will enable HACT to respond to the changing needs of sector, and help housing organisations to harness their benefit to neighbourhoods and communities.

Key aims

  • To develop learning packages that help social housing organisations to realise their community investment potential - harnessing the resources of housing organisations to generate mutual benefits for the organisation and the communities in which they work
  • To understand issues facing the housing sector and how they should respond
  • To develop tools to support housing organisations achieve successful organisational change
  • To develop innovative workstreams, informed by research evidence, that respond directly to the needs of the sector

Current work

The partnership will focus on current issues facing housing providers, and how they can respond to such challenges,which are likely to include:

  • The role of housing providers in promoting social enterprise
  • How housing providers can maximise social impact
  • tackling employability and financial inclusion
  • contributing to neighbourhood and community planning

An initial research review will help identify the learning priorities and needs for the housing sector in fulfilling their community facing role, and the policy context in which this must be achieved.

Action-learning programmes, events, and sector focused research will be developed to provide practical learning and support for housing organisations.

About the partnership

The partnership will be taken forward by Patricia Jones, the Knowledge Transfer Associate, who will be employed by TSRC but seconded to HACT. Supervised by Professor David Mullins and Angus McCabe of TSRC, and Andrew van Doorn at HACT, Patricia will transfer TSRC’s research expertise into practical support for housing providers. This will provide a rigorous evidence base to underpin HACT’s work in neighbourhoods and communities, and enable them to deliver action learning programmes that focus on delivering real change for communities.

The partnership has received financial support from the Knowledge Transfer Partnerships programme (KTP). KTP aims to help businesses improve their competitiveness and productivity through the better use of knowledge, technology and skills that reside within the UK Knowledge Base. KTP is funded by the Technology Strategy Board along with the other government funding organisations.

About HACT

HACT is a social enterprise and charity, working with the housing sector, government, civil society and communities to develop and share innovative approaches to meeting changing housing need. More about HACT.

Links to other TSRC research

The knowledge transfer partnership builds on a large body of housing research by TSRC. This includes previous collaborations with HACT, including community investment and community empowerment. This research demonstrates fragmented and partial approaches to measuring social value, but shows that housing providers can have significant impacts - ranging from direct individual economic benefits to broader education, health and employment benefits.

It will also be informed by TSRC's below the radar research, which looks at the role of communities, community groups and community activity. 

Research contacts

David Mullins, Patricia Jones, Angus McCabe.