Shelter launches toolkit designed to build local homes
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Development
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The housing and homelessness charity Shelter has launched a free online toolkit to help developers win local support for new homes.
The resource is an updated version of the charity's Shelter Housing Insights for Communities (SHIC) toolkit, and is being sponsored by one of the UK's biggest real estate companies, British Land.
The service gives developers insights into who lives in an area, whether they are likely to support or oppose house building, and why.
New rules brought in under the Localism Act 2012 mean local people have more power to influence housing developments.
Shelter's service provides tailored communications techniques and messages to address concerns and build support for new homes.
The updated resource has been expanded to include extensive insights into the best methods and channels to engage with local people.
Nick Chancellor, associate director at Meeting Place Communications, has used SHIC to engage specific groups of local people in the consultation process ahead of seeking planning permission for new developments. He said: "The Housing Insights tool has been invaluable to our work in putting together campaigns that encourage more people in the community to come forward with their views. This includes engaging those who are supportive, but wouldn’t necessarily contribute their voice to the debate. SHIC has allowed us to save both time and money, and speak to local people’s ideas and concerns directly.”
Kay Boycott, a director at Shelter's, said: “These last two years have seen significant changes not only for planning legislation, but how the debate about the need for new homes is being framed. Local people have more power than ever before to approve or oppose developments, while there has been acknowledgement from politicians across the board that we urgently need more homes to meet the aspirations of a generation of young people and families.
“More than at any other time, housing provision rests in the hands of local people. This updated resource is a one-stop-shop providing all the information developers and local authorities need to promote a better dialogue with local communities and get new homes built.”