‘Socially minded, commercially minded – A report on tomorrow’s housing association’, authored by Denise Chevin on behalf of Genesis Housing Association and published by the Smith Institute was launched last week and is available to read here.
The report is based on interviews with 50 leading players in the sector, including housing association chief executives and board members and has sections on ‘drivers for change’, ‘challenges ahead’ and ‘new partnerships’, including some good stuff on measuring social value. No specific mention of collective custom build, however, even in their ‘new partnerships with tenants’ section (p.61) – from our point of view, this is perhaps significant in itself, in that the report also highlights the most common challenges facing housing officers as arising from low feeling of ownership of socially-rented properties (anti-social behaviour, poor maintenance, protracted disputes, etc).
Perhaps housing associations could be motivated to engage with collective custom build by framing it as an opportunity that could be addressed through the right kind of enabled custom build, inspiring feelings ownership amongst through future tenants by giving them a say in the process of procurement, etc?
There is a good executive summary highlighting what currently pre-occupies housing associations is on page 6 – most notable is acknowledgement that the sector has to become more entrepreneurial and share in risk rather than depend on capital funding.