Mutual aid compacts : an evaluation of community building through a contract of mutual assistance

Sprigings, N 2003, Mutual aid compacts : an evaluation of community building through a contract of mutual assistance , PhD thesis, Salford : University of Salford.

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This research project is an evaluation of an attempt to create "community" on a new housing estate in a city in the north of England. In allocating the new housing the housing association landlord introduced the idea of a Mutual Aid Compact where successful applicants would have to demonstrate a willingness to offer help to each other in their new environment. The research seeks an understanding of the aspirations of the landlord, the advisors promoting the scheme, and the residents and the actual impacts of the Mutual Aid framework in order to evaluate success in creating community. In doing this, the research reveals the assumptions made about community by policy makers including the explicit assumption that community can help to tackle social exclusion. The research, based on documentary evidence and stakeholder interviews, indicates that many of the assumptions about place-based communities may be mistaken. Far from being a \\a_v of countering social exclusion there is evidence from the literature and from the research that "community" can consolidate the effects of exclusion in a variety of ways. Community creation also seems to be a hazardous activity for landlord and resident alike as the promotion of community activity also promotes leadership struggles and attempts to impose values that may be at odds with the ideals of community imagined by the initiators. In this case, for example, one resident was subjected to death threats, another was forced from the estate, and yet another ran the risk of being ostracized by residents. Despite this, some practices from the project may be more widely applicable to housing practice.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Contributors: Steele, A (Supervisor)
Schools: Schools > School of the Built Environment
Depositing User: Institutional Repository
Date Deposited: 03 Oct 2012 13:34
Last Modified: 19 Oct 2021 14:55

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