The sheer scale of social housing regeneration projects is staggering, and this scale encourages the development of knowledge, and skills amongst customer engagement specialists and project team members more broadly in Scotland, Ireland and the UK.
The impetus for demolishing social housing is strong and replacing to put with it with “mixed-tenure” sites that increase the number of people who are working and can afford to purchase a home living alongside the existing social housing residents. A new building and a new neighbour does not equate to an overnight transition to economic and social wealth.
Regeneration projects in Australia should be looking at regeneration as an opportunity for social and economic change as well as new buildings. To achieve real change, it is important that resources are put into engagement with residents to understand what they want for their new home and community and to use the opportunity to build capacity and a share in the wealth with training and employment opportunities.
This takes resources and it takes time and this needs to be acknowledged and quantified when the goals and budgets of regeneration projects are being set.
Keywords: Community empowerment, resident engagement, community engagement, public housing renewal, social housing regeneration, place-making