Shelter gives insight into how to engage effectively with housing developers
Written by Scott Buckler   
Friday, 15 April 2011 08:27

Shelter launches Shelter Housing Insights for Communities, a free online resource to support Local Authority officers and house builders in achieving positive community engagement in housing development(April 15th)


With 242,000 additional homes needed every year to meet demand, Shelter has developed the resource to help Local Authorities better understand attitudes toward new housing development. Shelter Housing Insights for Communities is the first ever engagement resource to provide unique insight into the attitudes and concerns of different local communities to housing development and enable more effective engagement with those affected by it.

Users of the resource can uncover details about specific demographic groups - down to local and ward level - to find out the attitudes toward house building in their local area. It also gives information about the likelihood of objection to house building. In addition the resource provides guidance on the most effective communication channels and messages to reach specific groups, providing a ready made communications plan to tackle housing opposition.

To produce this resource Shelter used ACORN InSite, which divides the UK population into five categories, 17 groups and 56 types according to their demographics. The charity then overlaid previously unavailable survey responses to national housing questionnaires onto ACORN to provide a rare insight into the attitudes of local people to housing development.

Kay Boycott, Director of Campaigns, Policy and Communications at Shelter, said: “We are in the midst of a massive housing crisis where the only solution is to build more homes. While 72 per cent of people agree that we need more homes in this country, 48 per cent would oppose plans to build on their street. Increasing understanding of people’s concerns regarding development in their area is a vital step on the long road to providing decent, affordable housing for everyone.

“This resource will enable Local Authorities to identify issues and attitudes toward housing development and to select the right messages and communication channels to help engage in a positive way and achieve behaviour change.

“To meet housing need and demand in this country we need an additional 242,000 homes each year, yet last year only 102,570 were completed. It is absolutely essential that Local Authorities are in the best possible position to deliver the homes people so desperately need, and we expect this resource to be an invaluable support in helping them do so.”

Kate Henderson, Chief Executive of the Town and Country Planning Association, said:  “England faces a severe shortage and we must ensure we are building more and better homes in the right places, working with local communities so that new development does not feel like an imposition and local wishes and aspirations are taken into consideration.

“Shelter’s new Housing Insights for Communities tool will be invaluable to local authorities and developers in helping to identify local concerns and work with communities to take a bottom-up approach to delivering much needed housing for current and future generations.”

Lawrence Revill, Managing Director of planning consultants David Lock Associates, said: “The greatest challenge in the housing crisis is the widespread antipathy to the need for new homes.  We need to win hearts and minds and this resource will help us get to the arguments much more quickly and effectively.”

The resource is available online at

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Last Updated on Friday, 15 April 2011 08:30

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