Engagement rings

It doesn’t have to be mentioned really that Grenfell has changed the nature of the debate across housing.

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Nowhere has this been more evident than in the growing calls for tenant and resident engagement.

Government figures show a highest level of housebuilding since 2008, but it is still a far way off what is needed each year.

With the number of new homes needing to be built being over 300,000 a year, there is no way this is going to happen without impacting on the lives of residents up and down the country.

So it is important for developers, housing associations and councils to bring residents on that journey with them when delivering new units.

Research from a couple of years ago from Shelter found that instead of the usual thoughts that the number NIMBYs far exceed those who favour development, the opposite was true.

This year, they have gone further than that by looking at how to engage with supporters.

Social media was a top way, hardly surprising when those who are more likely to support development are younger.

But at Engagement 2017 conference, it was highlighted there was a need to engage with those who are opposing development early on – using channels such as Facebook, where opposition was most prevalent.

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Catharine Banks, Policy Officer at Shelter, said good engagement was “not about getting planning permission but to create great places”.

The research also set out the “profiles” of those who would typically be supportive or in opposition to development.

Sam Davies, Chair of a resident led board, said there were some key lessons to be learned by anyone building houses.

“You must use your power wisely, look for shared goals such as preservation of a community space or affordable housing and build on what you agreed – don’t go back on what you promised.”

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