A snippet into why HouseParty represents the transformation that is taking place in the housing sector. Networks Manager John Coburn discusses some of the great sessions that will be taking place at HouseParty and declares that the event reflects the dynamism, energy and enthusiasm of our sector and communities, to make change happen.
HouseParty is nearly upon us and in some senses it represents the transformation that is taking place in the housing sector. HouseParty brings together grassroots housing and social change-makers to explore and solve some of the most pressing needs in UK housing. The event acknowledges that innovation and change in the sector will come from the edges: through emerging partnerships and radical new thinking. There are no certainties since the economic crash, other than housing providers will need to assert their independence and outline their vision.
Whilst we have the big names looking at the key challenges of housing supply, design, digital technology and urban transformation; the unconference is about empowering us all as leaders to be creative and find new ways to meet today’s challenges. The power of social media is a running theme throughout the 2 days, and check out #powerplayers14 Top 50 which shows that many of the new and emerging influencers and opinion formers are not your traditional CEOs! For example, the great Council Homes Chat website, powerfully articulates the case for social housing from the testimonies from those who have benefitted; indeed there is a good blog from our very own Tom Murtha, HACT Chair.
Want to set up your own campaigning or learning network? There will be advice and support from HouseParty’s very own Esther Foreman on how to setup, maintain and grow your network. Indeed one idea from Bill Lovat of Regenda, is to set up an action network for neighbourhood regeneration, to create a strong voice for community investment in housing. Or if you have a great idea or pitch, then the Village Hall is the place for you where you can stand on your soapbox and tell it straight.
We will also hear from a range of exciting social enterprises who have creative ways for housing associations to engage and reconnect with communities. The Craftivists for example, use cross-stitch and crafting as a powerful way of bringing communities together to consider social issues. Check out Commonplace who have created a digital app which enables residents to discuss in real-time the things that matter to them. Or the Community Empowerment Academy which is a brand new social enterprise that develops ‘Community Champions’ whilst raising the self-esteem of tenants and staff.
There will be a Regenda sponsored pop-up-exhibition promoting exciting community-based enterprises and organisations that North West housing associations are supporting day in day out. And you will be able to hear about HACT/CDFA’s Start-Up Micro-Enterprise Project which marks the launch of a new £1m+ fund to provide small scale start-up support for residents to set up their own micro-businesses.
HouseParty reflects the dynamism, energy and enthusiasm of our sector and communities, to make change happen. All this and more will take place in just two days (24-25 June) in Manchester and unfortunately if you haven’t got a ticket now you’ve missed out. But don’t worry it will be back bigger and better next year!