Memorandum by North East Housing Forum
1. The North East housing Forum
This document has been prepared for the North
East Housing Forum.
The Forum draws its membership from: Local Authorities,
Housing Associations, the National Housing Federation North, The
Northern Housing Consortium, the Chartered institute of Housing,
the Council of Mortgage Lenders, the House Builders Federation,
Private Landlords, Tenants and Residents and the Local Government
2. The contribution of area based initiatives
to broader regeneration initiatives and regional strategies and
the characteristics of successful regeneration schemes
I enclose some information relating to the activities
of Home Housing Association. The pamphlets describe in some detail
the characteristics of some of their regeneration activities and
schemes within the North East region.
These are provided by way of example of the
type of activities that Forum member organisations are involved
In summary I can say generally that successful
regeneration schemes have some of the following characteristics:
"Buy in" from local residents
A response to needs which have been
identified on a very local level
A combination of activities and services
of different types, which have been specifically tailored to the
Use of a "tool bag" of
different funding sources to match requirementsmanagers
have to be creative in their search for resources
Partnership workingon a practical
level this usually means shared resourcing and joint management
Creative support for those in needthis
has moved way beyond simple housing management techniques and
can extend to a range of service provision.
Physical improvements to property
or environment acting as a catalyst for broader community development
Extension of support to the wider
community within an area (beyond the limits of service provision
Buildingin training and other
provision for increasing community capacity so that schemes can
continue beyond the life of the regeneration initiative.
Schemes often "plug the gap"
left between mainstream service provision.
Activity that provides financial
support (or "in kind" support) for the most disadvantaged
members of the community.
Programmes that use IT, play or cultural
activities to capture the imagination and involvement of children
and young people.
3. Has policy taken account of long-term impacts?
Housing organisations in the North East are
very concerned about high numbers of empty properties and turnover
in the social housing sector. This is coupled with problems in
some private sector or mixed tenure areas where prices are falling
To assist with future regional policy development
the North East Housing Forum has recently commissioned a report
from the Centre for Urban and Regional Studies (CURS) University
of Birmingham into Changing Housing Markets and Urban Regeneration
in the North East.
The report gives an evidence base, which details
those areas that are already displaying the symptoms of being
"at risk" of decline It also develops the data to encompass
areas that may be at risk of developing similar problems in the
The data is at small area (enumeration district)
level. This enables it to be used in some detail by the organisations
concerned. In particular the report highlights
The combination factors of demographic
change and economic restructuring in the region.
The fact that considerable reshaping
of the region's housing market will be needed
And that a planned response in terms
of numbers of demolitions will be needed to avoid further continuation
of the situation.
That the changing demand for housing
provides the opportunity to replace obsolete older housing stock
with newer housing, which is in demand.
The North East Housing Forum is currently involved
in production of the first Regional Housing Strategy for the North
The strategy uses the findings of this report
as the baseline from which future strategic planning begins.
The Regional Housing Strategy, when completed,
will link with other regional strategies for maximum influence
The timescale for the strategy will be medium
term (three to five years) but it will also look at regional housing
policy for the longer (10-year) period.
The Forum wishes to use the report to underline
the importance of securing adequate resources for the region.
The North East has lost out on recent alterations to the Approved
Development Programme in favour of London and the South Eastthis
highlights the continued need for major investment in the region
that can be spent in a way to meet regional priorities.
We are anxious that the Region gets the funding
it needs to tackle the issues highlighted in the Study.
4. The North East Housing Forum welcomes the
opportunity to submit evidence to this enquiry
Our members are happy to provide further oral
evidence to the enquiry if it is deemed useful.