We held a launch workshop for our recently published framework for Coproduction in Housing and Regeneration on 21 April. There was a great turnout from across sectors including housing associations, resident groups, local authorities and independent housing practitioners. Diving into what it means to share power and put coproduction into practice in new development projects or in the management of existing places, led to thought provoking and enthusiastic discussion. The outcomes are already influencing how we’re working, and the support we’re providing. Here are some reflections from the day that we’ve found particularly insightful.
There is lots of interest!
It was clear from the conversations throughout the morning that there is a real interest in finding a different way for local authorities, housing associations and others to work with residents and communities, and that learning from each other will be key to building capacity within relevant sectors. Stay tuned or get in touch for more on this!
One tool of many
Coproduction has the potential to diversify access to, and involvement in, decision-making (especially when there is an explicit focus on sharing power and building trust). However it is not a panacea, and should be considered as one of a number of measures (including organising and education) for addressing barriers to access, particularly among those whose voices are traditionally most excluded from housing and regeneration processes.
From ‘power over’ to ‘power with’
Acknowledging the multiple understandings of power that exist, coproduction can be seen as the effort of housing providers and others to move from a position of having “power over” communities, to having “power with” communities to affect change and innovate the way projects and services are delivered.
A key challenge to implementing effective coproduction is securing buy-in at director and management level. This requires being able to clearly articulate coproduction’s value across an organisation and demonstrating this with existing projects and case studies. This is something we’re already working on, so get in touch if you’d like more info!
How we can help
We learn by doing. We’re currently working on a number of projects to put these ideas into practice and are looking for more organisations to partner with. Our projects range from regeneration and development to housing services and management. Below is a summary of how we can support your organisation to deliver effective coproduction. Do get in touch if you would like to know more!
Initiating new or evaluating existing coproduction processes
Whether you’re at the start of a process or halfway through, we use practical tools to help establish and review practices around governance and accountability, roles and responsibilities, collaborative practice, collective decision-making and more.
We provide ongoing support to enable effective coproduction throughout the course of a project or process. The type of support varies depending on what’s required and can range from independent chairing and facilitating of steering groups to ongoing mentoring or tailored training and capacity building.
Building long-term social value
As well as transforming projects and service delivery, we want to see coproduction used to initiate new models of community management, stewardship and ownership of homes, businesses and neighbourhoods. There’s plenty of examples of this out there, so get in touch if you’d like to find out more!