To coincide with the one year anniversary of the Localism Act, the latest report from ResPublica, Acting on Localism: The role of housing associations in driving a community agenda, examines the role of housing associations as actors and catalysts for a vibrant and transformative localism. It warns that the localism agenda will fail unless the disconnect between government and local institutions such as housing associations is overcome.
The publication, supported by Chester and District Housing Trust, argues that despite the lack of resources for local authorities and support for voluntary groups, government can still deliver on the localism agenda by harnessing housing associations to meet local needs.
The featured case studies demonstrate that certain housing associations are already performing this crucial role, by acting as vital capacity-builders and vehicles for community ambition. Whilst many communities by themselves do not have the resources to take up the opportunities created by the Localism Act – such as community rights, budgetary challenge and neighbourhood planning powers – housing associations are often in a good position to help them do so.