This section is about how a local authority or housing association can better equip itself to promote and support community-led housing by building its internal capacity.
Levels of understanding
- A user survey was undertaken among local authorities and housing associations as part of the development of this Toolkit. The results indicated that beyond a small number of officers with a direct responsibility for CLH, there is generally a low level of understanding and awareness of CLH among local authority staff and members
- The survey also showed that most staff get information on new subjects from websites, briefing emails, external courses/briefings, and colleagues; with nowadays a heavy reliance on digital resources and internal communications
- A local authority or housing association can adopt self-help techniques, by which staff (and members) learn together and teach each other about CLH. The format of this toolkit, and its sister publication, are designed to cover all relevant aspects of the subject. Learning can be based around the use of these resources
A simple way to construct a briefing note for colleagues is as follows:
- Identify the key issues that staff need to understand – this can be done by looking at the index to this Toolkit and/or the CCIN report
- This toolkit is designed so that different teams or disciplines – eg strategy, legal, planning, finance - can easily access the sections most relevant to them
- Copy and paste relevant sections to briefing notes for circulation or presentation
- If an organisation requires more in depth understanding of CLH and/ or the development of staff skills - potential sources of support are as follows:
- Several of the national CLH organisations may be able to offer training
- If there is a local or regional CLH hub or network, they may be able to help
- Visits to local community-led housing schemes and/or input from people involved in local projects can be very useful
Where to find out more
Most of the organisations listed in Section 1.16 of the Toolkit should be able to offer training for local authorities in England, either themselves or by signposting to others. Other possibilities include:
The Wales Co-operative Centre - offers support and advice to any organisation wishing to develop co-operative housing in Wales. It can provide access to expert advice about co-operative housing and skills and development training for members of a co-operative. The Centre has recently developed a Co-operative Housing Pilot Toolkit, designed to help community groups, housing associations, co-ops, local authorities and others in the initial stages of considering how to develop new co-operative & community-led homes.
More information on co-operative housing and what support is available can be obtained from the Wales Co-operative Centre on 0300 111 5050 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Social Regeneration Consultants (SRC) - Community and Housing consultancy SRC, co-authors of this on-line Toolkit, have extensive experience of developing in-house training for organisations. For more information contact: email@example.com