Evaluation of Housing Strategy in UK

New Deal for Communities’ Strategy & Evaluation of the Kensington, Liverpool NDC Area
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New Deal for Communities (NDC) – Principles and Background

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Thumbnail of Kensington, Liverpool

Funding for Kensington

Selection of Areas for the NDC Project

Success of the NDC in Kensington



New Deal for Communities (NDC) – Principles and Background

The Housing Green Paper, entitled ‘Quality and Choice: A Decent Home for All’ was produced by the Department of the Environment, Transport and Regions in April 2000o.

The paper identifies the 3 major challenges (p7) facing housing in England to be

First, to improve the conditions and opportunities of the minority who face severe problems, such as poor conditions in both public and private housing.
Second, to tackle the more general problems faced by most people at some point in their lives, such as the difficulties that can be encountered in selling and buying a home.
Third, to do this without undermining the successful features of the current system, which delivers decent housing to the majority of people.

The aims and principles (p16) t address the above challenges are stated as

Our aim is to offer everyone the opportunity of a decent home and so promote social cohesion, well-being and self-dependence. This aim, and the reforms that we are pursuing, are under-pinned by eight key principles.’s key principles for housing policy • Offering everyone opportunity, choice and a stake in their home, whether rented or owned.

Ensuring an adequate supply of decent housing to meet needs.
Giving responsibility to individuals to provide for their own homes where they can, providing help for those who cannot.
Improving the quality and design of the housing stock, new housing and residential environments, helping to achieve an urban renaissance and protecting the countryside.
Delivering modern, efficient, secure, customer-focused public services and empowering individuals to influence them.
Reducing barriers to work, particularly in relation to benefit and rent policy.
Supporting vulnerable people and tackling all forms of social exclusion, including bad housing, homelessness, poverty, crime and poor health.
Promoting sustainable development that supports thriving, balanced communities and a high quality of life in urban and rural areas.

This paper tackles the broad issues of housing and provides a framework for government strategy going forward. The NDC, which focuses on the most deprived areas, has a wider brief within their region, as summarized by The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, ref http://www.neighbourhood.gov.uk/page.asp?id=617,

New Deal for Communities (NDC) is a key programme in the Government’s strategy to tackle multiple deprivation in the most deprived neighborhoods in the country, giving some of our poorest communities the resources to tackle their problems in an intensive and co-coordinated way. The aim is to bridge the gap between these neighborhoods and the rest of England.

All the NDC partnerships are tackling five key themes of:

Poor job prospects
High levels of crime
Educational under-achievement
Poor health
Problems with housing and the physical environment.

We want to see outcomes that will bring real benefit to people living in our most deprived neighborhoods.

Approximately ?2bn has been committed to the 39 partnerships.

The NDC partnerships are part of a holistic government approach to raising the livability of some of the England’s more deprived areas. The Neighborhood Renewal Unit (NRU) – part of the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM) – has responsibility for overseeing the Government’s comprehensive neighborhood renewal strategy. A strategy that responds to local circumstances rather than directing everything from Whitehall.

Under the framework of the NRU, the NDC are a key component within the long-term program that comprises:

New Deal for Communities – partnerships tackling the five key themes of:

Poor job prospects
High levels of crime
Educational under-achievement
Poor health
Problems with housing and the physical environment.

Neighborhood Management, working with local agencies to improve and link their services at a local neighborhood level.

Neighborhood Wardens, providing a highly visible, uniformed, semi-official presence in residential and public areas, town centres and high-crime areas.

They run a Skills and Knowledge programme, offering practical support to those at the front-line delivering neighborhood renewal.

They also run programs focusing on the importance of business involvement in tackling disadvantage.

The NRU encourages communities to play a central role in delivering neighborhood renewal through a ?96 million programme to develop a community participation infrastructure.

Thumbnail of Kensington, Liverpool

The report “Livability in NDC areas, Findings from Six Case Studies’ quotes from the Delivery Plans for NDC, as describes Kensington as an area where ‘the streets tend to be treeless and green leisure spaces very limited.. The harsh appearance of the urban environment is reinforced by the dereliction of underdeveloped waste land and the four busy roads that physically subdivide the NDC area into separate neighborhoods.’

The Independent Working Class Association website, http://www.iwca.info/cor/cor0011.htm has the following stark statistics on Kensington (April 2, 2004)

Houses prices average ?45,000.
45 per cent of residents have no qualifications
Unemployment rate is 8.3%
Funding for Kensington

http://www.neighbourhood.gov.uk/page.asp?id=618NDC Grant Approved Areas

The following table shows that the funding for Kensington was the highest of all grants made in Round 1 Partnerships

Round 1 Partnerships

Grant Approved (?m)























Liverpool (Kensington)








Tower Hamlets






Selection of Areas for the NDC Project

The Government Social Exclusion Unit studied and identified the huge gaps that separate the country’s most deprived neighborhoods and the rest.

The Unit concluded in their report Neighbourhood Renewal, ‘there is deprivation everywhere, but there are four regions with particularly high concentrations: the North West, North East, London, and Yorkshire and Humberside. Nationally, 82% of the most deprived wards (as measured by the Indices of Deprivation) are in just 88 local authority districts.

Success of the NDC in Kensington


In order to provide computers to Kensington residents, Kensington Regeneration, a charitable company was set up. In September 2000, Kensington Regeneration applied to Department of Education and Skills (DfES) for capital funding to provide up to 2,000 residents with an Internet capable recycled pc, printer and software.

An ESF bid was developed and approved which supports the development of a variety of training interventions including ‘first steps’ IT skills, CLAIT and ECDL along with bespoke events and courses identified through community consultation.

There have been problems with management with led to the resignation of James Jones, the Anglican Bishop of Liverpool and the Chair of the Kensington NDC.

On Dec 5 2003, The New Start magazine, http://www.newstartmag.co.uk/pond.html which had been campaigning for fair compensation for community representatives involved in regeration programs for 7 months, quoted the Right Reverend Jones as follows:

‘The minister fails to realize that community activity is work. It produces vital social capital that makes neighborhoods safer and healthier places. Without it, the state will spend even more money paying agencies to fight crime, poor health and low educational achievement.

Unless the government addresses the issue of remunerating local people for community activity its policies of involving local people will prove empty rhetoric and leave out the very people they are meant to embrace.’

The situation was not resolved and the Guardian, The Guardian, reported on April 14th 2004 that the Right Reverent Jones was stepping down in their article ‘Divided and Spoilt’

A critical report into a neighborhood renewal project has raised concerns over the future of the New Deal for Communities.

The Bishop of Liverpool, the Right Rev James Jones, who is stepping down as chairman of Liverpool’s Kensington NDC project, last week warned the government not to bypass residents in favor of imposed solutions. He is worried that ministers talk only about “community involvement” rather than “community-led” actions.’

The report , ‘Promoting Liveability: The Experience of NDC Partnerships, one of many reference documents to be found at http://www.renewal.net includes the following items of success and upgrading due to the partnership in Kensington

Neighborhood warden schemes – In Liverpool, wardens work with the neighborhood police team and other organizations tackling crime and anti-social behavior. Pairs of wardens patrol a particular patch, getting to know residents, gathering intelligence, talking to young people and providing reassurance for vulnerable residents.
Neighborhood improvement – Liverpool’s NDC is working with the community to plan major renovations. In the neighborhood where this process is most advanced, a group of residents received training on aspects of urban design and worked with an architect to draw up a blueprint for local improvements. These changes are currently being implemented, and include new street lighting, traffic calming, restoring boundary walls and creating pocket parks. Residents in other neighborhoods are now involved in similar work.
Environmental services – Vandalism, graffiti, fly tipping and general neglect of open spaces in Liverpool’s NDC area are a highly visible sign of decline. Two Intermediate Labour Market (ILM) projects, one based elsewhere in the city and now an environmental task force focused on the area, has worked to clean up the neighborhood. In addition, the city council’s environmental services department is attempting to tackle the area’s problem with rats.
Urban parks and open spaces – Liverpool’s NDC is funding renovations to two parks that are just outside its boundaries but are nonetheless important leisure spaces for NDC residents. One of them, Wavertree Park, formerly held the city’s botanic gardens, and the NDC’s work includes the restoration of its remaining Victorian features.
Community safety measures – In Liverpool, the city council is gradually installing alley gates on lanes between houses, to prevent break-ins through rear doors and windows. The NDC injected its own funding to speed up the process in its area, and has offered free front door security upgrades to protect houses from the front too. On one estate in the area where cars have been vandalized and drug dealers have used waste ground, the NDC has worked with the police to draw up plans to ‘design out’ crime. The waste ground is to be cleaned up and incorporated into the gardens of surrounding houses, and the car parking will move to the front of the houses to maximize opportunities for natural surveillance.
Neighborhood management – In Liverpool’s NDC area, the local social landlord and the NDC have jointly funded a neighborhood coordinator to integrate the various schemes working to enhance Liveability, minimize the impact of restructuring on residents, and manage the expectations of the community. One important task has been to ensure that mainstream resources are targeted effectively and that service providers do not use the regeneration funding as an excuse to reduce their commitment to the area.

The report identifies that there are barriers to the effective promotion of the liveability agenda. They were summarized as

Uncertainty over the meaning of ‘liveability’, which has not yet become part of the vocabulary of neighborhood regeneration.
The frequent absence of a coherent strategic vision for environmental regeneration, with somewhat piecemeal intervention taking its place. And at the level of delivery as well as strategy, there is often insufficient coordination with other agencies such as local authorities.

The http://icliverpool.icnetwork.co.uk, has the following two negative reports on the NDC in the Kensington area.

The article ‘Flaws hit 118m Mersey Revamp’ was published Sept 14, 2004.

A ?118m Merseyside scheme to revive deprived areas has been dogged by “mistrust and tensions” with councils, Commons watchdogs say.

A report out today reveals flaws in the operation of the New Deal for Communities programme which is spending ?2bn nationwide over 10 years.

The inquiry by the all-party public accounts committee (PAC) found many schemes are undermined by the confusion of up to 50 competing initiatives.

And the committee says too often the neighborhood renewal schemes successfully combat crime and disorder on their own patch, but export the problem neighboring areas.

The report ‘New Deal is Failing’ was printed Oct 21, 2003

A FLAGSHIP government scheme to breathe new life into two struggling areas of Merseyside has so far failed to improve people’s lives, according to a new report.

The study found that the New Deal for Communities had “not yet made significant progress” in cutting crime, creating jobs and boosting educational standards.

And it warned that residents in Britain’s most deprived neighborhoods faced a 10-year wait before they would notice genuine signs of success.

Now the study, by academics at Sheffield Hallam University, has concluded: “Most partnerships have not yet made significant progress in achieving many of these outcomes.

“Some claim success but these should be treated with considerable caution at this early stage.

“Closing gaps between these deprived neighborhoods and the districts and regions within which they are located will simply take a long time. Ten years appears a realistic time horizon.”

In Liverpool, only 24pc of people who had heard of the initiative believed it had improved their area’


The NDC is an ambitious undertaking and has suffered some setbacks as well as notable successes. The partnership requires community participation from residents who have lived in deprived areas for generations. As the NDC partnership develops flaws in administration, management and communication should be addressed and monitored.

The long term view that it will take 10 years to show a significant success is not unreasonable considering the magnitude of the problems being tackled. There appears to be a need to communicate the small successes effectively within the community.

The Housing Green Paper ‘Quality and Choice. A decent home for All – The way forward for Housing’ Produced by the Department of the Environment, Transport and Regions (April 2000)
The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister website – http://www.neighbourhood.gov.uk
http://www.iwca.info/cor/cor0011.htm – Independent Working Class Association website
http://www.newstartmag.co.uk/pond.html – The New Start magazine

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