Community engagement is now embedded in the work of housing associations and local authorities in the UK, as a way of enhancing community development and involvement. This research takes as its focus a housing association based in Merthyr Tydfil, Wales; a town that has experienced deindustrialization, peripheralization, and as a result, some of the UK’s highest levels of socio-economic deprivation. The importance of participatory working outside of a regulatory agenda and boundary is explored, to evaluate the role of tenant participation in building more effective community development practices. The data is gathered through an ethnographic methodology, working with tenants on facilitated projects to explore the impact of TP on tenants. It draws on two distinctive tenant initiatives: a cooking group and a tenant ‘youth forum’. The research finds that through these methods of engagement, a number of positive outcomes can be identified across the tenant body, namely (i) the forging and embedding of social values, (ii) empowering tenant groups and sustaining community identity and (iii) enhancing tenant wellbeing.
SOURCE: Lambourne T, Jenkins S. “Enhancing Social Values, Identity and Wellbeing: the Impact of Participatory Working with Housing Association Tenants.” Community Development Journal, 22 September 2018.
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