Engaging A New (And Unique) Community
November 19, 2014
Often, the emphasis placed on producing best practice guides for active stakeholders within the Private Rented Sector (PRS) concentrates on the management side of things; albeit finance, investment or physical assets.
But as the sector grows and becomes more institutional and diverse, eyes should turn towards the way in which large-dwelling private landlords engage with their residents to ensure positive community development.
On the face of things, as long as residents are adhering to the Terms & Conditions stipulated within their contracts, an arm’s length approach should suffice – in theory.
In the Spring/Summer 2014 edition of PRSupdate our Chairman, Stuart Corbyn, provided an insight into the journey from Athletes Village to East Village. He outlined Get Living London’s vision to deliver a new way of renting based on London centric research, the creation of valuable brand partnerships and the injection of infrastructure aimed at creating a thriving new neighbourhood.
At the time of writing, Get Living London has welcomed over 600 residents to East Village. With retail units on the way, a high quality academy running at full capacity and a health centre capable of serving 20,000 patients, we have created a place where people want to live.
With Triathlon Homes overseeing the social housing element, along with intermediate rent and part-buy services, East Village is already housing close to 2,000 residents, all from different backgrounds and locations. This community recognises that they are living somewhere quite special.
As you walk around East Village, you can feel the Olympic spirit lingering and residents are already looking for ways to cement a legacy neighbourhood, befitting of its grand roots.
We at Get Living London actively seek to engage with this new community, by hosting events and resident meetings. However, we have found that when issues arise, as they do in all new communities, solutions are being formed from within the community. Also, residents are actively working together to find ways to develop various creative outlets for people within the village.
By pooling their expertise and spare time, residents are leading the evolution of this new neighbourhood in an organic way. From initiating litter picking groups to the creation of an informal Sunday football club, there are signs that the community is developing in a positive way.
The part we play as the landlord concentrates on harnessing the community spirit in a way which allows residents to dictate its evolution. We listen to and support residents in a very conversational way, have an events plan predicated on bringing all things good within the local area into East Village. We actively reach out to surrounding stakeholders to both share our activity and provide added benefit to our residents, be this through a discounted coffee or local theatre offer.
The most fundamental ideal behind all of our activity is that, while we keep the East Village community a priority, we also want to bring in people from the established, local communities to strengthen our own. We want to share with East Londoners a neighbourhood that is intended for the masses rather than the few and hope that one day the gap between old and new Stratford will disappear all together.