Response - Transforming places, changing lives

By: Michala Beacham  Published: November 2008


Shelter welcomes this opportunity to respond to the Department for Communities and Local Government consultation – Transforming places; changing lives: A framework for regeneration. Regeneration presents the opportunity to develop localised responses to address deprivation and need. Focusing regeneration in particular areas enables coordinated planning of housing, social infrastructure and promotion of economic growth. Housing is an essential element of, and in many cases will lead, regeneration programmes.

Summary

Overall, Shelter supports the aims of the draft framework to develop the long term productive potential of places and people, creating sustainable housing, land, labour and product markets.  Successful regeneration projects will focus on both the economic and social development of an area by undertaking activity that incorporates physical regeneration (including rehabilitation of housing and other buildings, and transport links), improving the prospects of people (education, employment, health and community cohesion), and improving the wider economy of an area. 

 

Shelter believes that housing, particularly social rented housing, has a vital role to play in providing a secure environment that enables people to find work, settle and establish roots.  The significant levels of housing need in this country demonstrate the importance of regeneration projects that improve existing, and encourage development of new, affordable housing and support the development of sustainable communities. 

 

While Shelter supports the direction of the framework, we note that regeneration programmes are often extremely challenging and a sound framework needs to be supported by carefully planned and coordinated implementation.  As the CIH has said ‘choosing which areas to focus on and how growth or regeneration will support the regional, sub-regional or local economies is only an initial step – designing and implementing a programme that supports complimentary change and builds sustainable confidence in an area is more difficult to achieve’.[1]

 

Experience from previous regeneration programmes suggests that the large and ambitious nature of many projects can present new issues for already vulnerable communities, hindering the improvement of outcomes.  The draft framework looks to learn from past experiences, and incorporate lessons from a significant pool of research in this area.  We, therefore, look forward to seeing how the framework will be practically applied in the future. 


[1] CIH, Housing and the Economy – Integrating Strategies, August 2008

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