The value social housing brings to communities and economies

The saying – there’s no place like home – is undoubtedly very powerful and rings true for all of us, and for businesses like ours, it’s a privilege to be involved in seeing homes and communities being created. And if it weren’t for the many social housing organisations across the country, many people wouldn’t be able to have a home and be part of a community.

Affordable or social housing is not a handout. It is a necessity, and if you look at the UN’s sustainable development goals, approximately three-quarters of them are all directly or indirectly related to social housing in some shape or form.

It’s actually more than housing. It’s about creating lasting communities and providing a better quality of life for its residents, which then has a positive ripple effect on job creation, financial stability, security and population diversity – even more so when aligned to well-designed development or regeneration plans.

Two of the many projects we are involved in demonstrates this. A £2.2 million project in Preston by Community Gateway Association called the Spires helps prevent homelessness and offers its residents essential life skills and assists them in securing work.

At the other end of the spectrum, we’re involved in Lancaster’s multi-million-pound redevelopment of the Mainway Estate, which will see significant improvements to social housing. The plan will breathe new life into the area – not just by creating high-quality homes but also by revitalising the area, which will be the catalyst to develop a strong sense of place. So as you can see, social housing performs a vital function in bringing investment to areas in creating quality housing which then contributes to increasing the living standards for many.

Social housing also provides a vital function in giving homes to key workers in cities where properties can sometimes be out of their financial reach, but If we’re going to create a sense of community and place, as well as a healthy social-economic mix, there needs to be more varied and flexible accommodation on offer.

At AG, we’re working with developers, local authorities and social housing providers to see where added value can be brought into innovative and clever design. We’re looking at the flexibility of how space can be used internally, on roofs, around the development where the community and the residents are at the heart of either new builds or regeneration.

Helping weave a full mix of tenure development back into the towns and cities and deliver homes is fundamental to the long-term future of cities and communities. This is where the good of social housing comes into force, helping to create that place we call home.