Community Gateway - Introduction
Community Gateway Flyer 2009 (PDF document, 349 Kb)
The Community Gateway:
- is a large scale housing organisation in which small scale community activity is encouraged and supported;
- is a means of establishing a tenant & community democracy in housing;
- is a membership organisation, where the Gateway pro-actively works to make membership meaningful;
- can make the Government's, the ODPM's and the Home Office's aspirations for community empowerment a practical reality.
Recent research carried out for the National Housing Federation1 showed that 56% of over 10,000 plus families surveyed across England rated having a friendly community as being their most important priority in determining where they wanted to live, above transport, access to shops and amenities, and even living in a quiet area and low crime. [Regional Futures & Neighbourhood Realities (Scase/Scales) - research based on ESRC: British Household Panel Study 02]
The research suggests that we need to ensure that housing and regeneration programmes facilitate the development of friendly communities as a primary objective if we are to meet the aspirations of ordinary people.
The Community Gateway aims to do this. Placing community empowerment at its heart, it recognises that engagement needs to happen at the level at which communities identify and on the issues that matter to them. It takes a twin track approach:
- Track one offers empowerment opportunities across the whole Gateway Association through tenant membership. This membership enables tenants to identify and have a sense of ownership of the association, through influencing overall policy and electing tenants to the Gateway Association board.
- Track two offers local communities the opportunity to make decisions about how their local neighbourhoods are run. The Gateway will pro-actively offer a variety of empowerment opportunities to tenants and communities - opportunities both on housing and on wider issues.
The Community Gateway Model was developed through the co-operative movement. It was initially developed in the Empowering Communities report, written by HACAS Chapman Hendy, and published by the Confederation of Co-operative Housing, the Chartered Institute of Housing and Co-operatives UK, through funding from the Housing Corporation.