Report

Resident involvement in the London Borough of Southwark

Published 30 March 2015 / By Mette Louise Berg

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Introduction

Southwark’s first long-term housing strategy was agreed in January 2015. It includes a pledge to build 11,000 new council homes for rent by 2043, with the aim of improving access to affordable, good-quality housing in the borough. The pledge responds to the borough’s substantial housing needs, which reflect London-wide challenges: The population is growing, and the demand for affordable homes far exceeds supply.

Southwark is a ‘super-diverse’ central London borough characterised by ethnic and linguistic diversity, high demographic churn amid overall population growth, and increasing socio-economic stratification. These characteristics add up to a dynamic and challenging environment in which to foster resident
involvement and resilience. The challenge is even greater in the context of central government cuts to local authority funding. Southwark’s new long-term housing strategy offers an opportunity to think innovatively about how best to engage residents and make the most of Southwark’s diversity.

The report highlights innovative, inclusive, and sustainable ways of fostering resident involvement, from strategic and long-term developments for lasting change (Big Local, Tenant Management Organisations) to small-scale initiatives (community gardens, football projects).

Executive Summary

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