Tackling social housings green deserts
Decent homes need decent spaces is designed to encourage social landlords to provide more opportunities for residents to enjoy the space on their doorsteps. It identifies 10 priorities, such as committing to high quality spaces and long term maintenance; ensuring improvements are led by residents’ priorities; and addressing the needs of children, who make up nearly half the population on social housing estates.
The plan was drawn up in conjunction with the Neighbourhoods Green Partnership, of which the LI is a member. The Partnership meets regularly and organises conferences for social landlords, and will work with them to take forward the actions in the plan. To achieve this, the Partnership is looking to employ a Project Coordinator on a one-year, fixed term contract. To find out more information and to apply, click here.
Decent homes also draws on a recent CABE research report, Community green: using local spaces to tackle inequality and improve health, which has found that although people view provision of green space as a key service, less than one per cent of people living in social housing reported that they use the green space on their estate.
The quantity of green space also varies enormously across inner cities: where residents are almost entirely white, there is 11 times more green space than where 40 per cent of residents are black or minority ethnic. Half of the 500 people interviewed said they would do more exercise if green spaces were improved, and half expected they would have better mental health.
Sarah Gaventa, Director of Public Space at CABE, said: “Too many inner city communities are missing out on the health and wellbeing benefits of quality green space close to home. Social landlords need to create open spaces that residents are proud of and can enjoy – from exciting play areas to restful gardens.”