HACT announces the launch of the Centre for Excellence in Community Investment

Sep 19, 2018

“The Centre for Excellence in Community Investment will advance the impact of community investment at the core of social housing,” said Andrew van Doorn, Chief Executive of HACT. “The online Centre will curate resources, research and evidence to support community investment professionals as they demonstrate their value and impact.

The Centre will provide mechanisms for the sharing of innovation and good practice, enhancing collaboration across the sector, encouraging providers to continue investing in this critical area. We also envisage the Centre providing an interface between social housing and other sectors, unlocking collaboration, innovation and resources to deliver greater impact for tenants and communities across the UK.”

The Centre has been funded by four leading housing associations: Clarion Futures, L&Q, Orbit and Peabody. During its formative years, it will be developed, maintained and managed by HACT.

“Over the next few months,” Andrew continued, “we will be hosting a series of roadshows across the UK where we will share our thoughts and ideas with community investment professionals, and encourage them to share their needs, hopes and requirements with us. We want the Centre to be owned by community investment professionals, so it helps them deliver a better service to their tenants and their communities. We want the Centre to play a critical role in helping housing associations deliver their social purpose and create thriving communities.”

Phil Miles, Director of Clarion Futures said:
“I am very pleased Clarion Futures will be a founding member of Centre for Excellence in Community Investment.  Transforming the lives of our residents and communities is a core ambition of Clarion Housing Group and I am looking forward to sharing new ideas and working together to develop innovative ways to support our residents.”

Commenting on the launch, Sam Scharf, Head of Community Investment at Orbit said: “We are excited to be supporting the development of this Centre for Excellence at HACT. The housing sector plays a significant role in creating thriving communities across the UK and we see this Centre as a forum to share learning, gather insight and collaborate to enhance the work we do. “Our work on child poverty and customer communications have driven lots of change at Orbit so we are looking forward to sharing this as well as learn from what our peers are doing at their organisations.”

Stephen Burns, Executive Director of Care and Communities at Peabody, said:
“The Centre for Excellence in Community Investment is long overdue.  Housing association community investment teams across the country can achieve so much more by working together and sharing our knowledge, successes and failures.  This is also a great opportunity to look outside the sector to strengthen existing partnerships and develop new ones. Lastly, the Centre will provide a platform for sharing new ways of measuring the impact of the great work we do. I am pleased and excited that Peabody is a part of this collaboration.”

Matt Corbett, Director of the L&Q Foundation, said: “L&Q are delighted to be supporting the establishment of the Centre for Excellence in Community Investment. L&Q is well known for investing heavily in communities through its £250M charitable foundation. The Centre represents a great opportunity for us collaborate and learn from colleagues across the sector who share our desire to increase their social impact on the communities they serve.”

The Centre for Excellence in Community Investment is a new project that will:

  • Champion and celebrate the importance and impact of community investment across the UK;
  • Curate resources, research and evidence, and thought leadership that aids community investment professionals to demonstrate their value and impact;
  • Provide mechanisms for the sharing of innovation and good practice, enhancing collaboration between housing associations, to drive forward debates and opportunities for community investment in housing;
  • Provide an interface between housing and other sectors, to unlock greater collaboration, innovation and resources in order to deliver greater impact in communities across the UK, particularly the most vulnerable;
  • Ensure that community investment underpins housing providers as they evolve their services and relationships with their customers and communities.

The Centre originates from a project proposal developed by HACT, with funding from Clarion, L&Q, Orbit and Peabody.

For further information about this press release, please contact Matthew Grenier on 07914 083337, or email him: communications@hact.org.uk

The Centre will be hosted online, and will be freely accessible by users across the UK.
The first iteration of the web site can be found at: www.ceci.org.uk : Twitter: @Centre4CI

News & Views