KALEIDOSCOPE

Villeneuve-Saint-Georges, France Human Resources, Local social sustainability, Relations to stakeholders
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Responsible Housing Award
“Winner Responsible Housing Awards 2019 category 'Building strategic alliances, fostering community participation' ”

Description

Social housing organisations have always positioned themselves as actors who accompany social change. The new paradigms on stakeholder participation and consultation now require social providers to evolve their decision-making processes.

In order to meet such requirements, the Villeneuve-Saint-Georges Public Office Housing Provider (OPH) has set itself the following priorities, over the past two years:
▶ Better meet the expectations of tenants, through a daily presence at their side;
▶ Implement an ambitious rehabilitation and development policy;
▶ Favour social mix and social cohesion.

The OPH decided to introduce a “100% participation” policy and to actively integrate this principle across all its activities.
To achieve this, three types of actors have been brought together around a common engagement and new participatory
mechanisms:
▶ Tenants: the primary beneficiaries of public policies, they are key participants, by leveraging their knowledge of the district, their environment and their user expertise;
▶ Employees: their involvement is essential in creating new spaces for meetings, dialogue and participation, whilst defining best practices (Participation Charter);
▶ Partners: tenants’ associations, cultural or social bodies are involved, providing insight and feedback.
▶ The implementation of this objective required a real cultural shift: no longer working exclusively “for” but also “with.”

OPH de Villeneuve-Saint-Georges

Context

Villeneuve-Saint-Georges is a French commune located in the Val-de-Marne department. Villeneuve-Saint-Georges has a number of structural challenges due to its geographical location:
▶ At the confluence of the Seine and Yerres rivers, the commune is prone to and regularly flooded;
▶ Orly’s air traffic and the combined railways puts Villeneuve on the podium for the noisiest city in the Ile-de-France region

It is considered one of the poorest municipalities in the Val-de-Marne Department, with 38.3% of its inhabitants living with resources below the poverty line. It has five “Priority Neighbourhoods” (QPV), i.e. neighbourhoods identified as having a certain number of difficulties, which encompass almost all of the city’s social housing.

In total, 56% of the commune population lives in one of these districts, an indicator that reveals the precarious economic situation of a large proportion of the Villeneuve population.

In terms of housing, Villeneuve now has 38.5% of social rental housing, 20% of which is over 60 years old. The private estate, on the other hand, is characterised as older, of which a large part can be described as “unfit” or even “unsanitary.”

Issues tackled

Within a fragile and complex context, the oPH of Villeneuve-Saint-Georges was able to propose a creative, multifaceted approach and provide new solutions, summarised as follows:
▶ Institutionalised and proactive strengthening of the relationship with tenants;
▶ Rejection of a single one size fits all approach: development of a kaleidoscope of interventions adapted to the diversity of the target groups and locations;
▶ Creation of a framework document – Participation Charter – to formalise the oPH’s engagements;
▶ Systematisation of monitoring and evaluation process;
▶ Professional development for all oPH employees: from the guardian to the director, everyone is included.
The oPH plans to pursue its efforts in various neighbourhoods. They wish to explore new methods working on neighbourhood recollection and memory, particularly for one of the residences that will be demolished (500 housing units).

Actors involved

  • Employees
  • Residents
  • Social Housing Provider
  • OPH

Actions carried out

  • Consultation: seeking advice on a project even before de- cision-making;
  • Voting: residents can vote with stickers among posted pro- posals, there is an average of 20 to 30% participation from residents;
  • Ideas box: residents can freely submit their ideas for future projects;
  • Monitoring of participatory approaches: early stages of a project include a forecast of resources, key project data, the associated stakeholders and all the infor- mation necessary for the implementation of the initiative;
  • public meetings: Open Days& Festive events:
  • Information and communication: Monthly oPH Letter; Social networks: 722 subscribers, regular posts and re- sponses to questions/comments; Website: centralises general information and news; Questionnaires:

Results

Within a fragile and complex context, the oPH of Villeneuve-Saint- Georges was able to propose a creative, multifaceted approach and provide new solutions, summarised as follows:

▶ Institutionalised and proactive strengthening of the relationship with tenants;
▶ Rejection of a single one size fits all approach: development of a kaleidoscope of interventions adapted to the diversity of the target groups and locations;
▶ Creation of a framework document – Participation Charter – to formalise the oPH’s engagements;
▶ Systematisation of monitoring and evaluation process;
▶ Professional development for all oPH employees: from the guardian to the director, everyone is included.
The oPH plans to pursue its efforts in various neighbourhoods. They wish to explore new methods working on neighbourhood recollection and memory, particularly for one of the residences that will be demolished (500 housing units).

Why it works

✚ Strong resident empowerment in one of the most chal-
lenged area in Ile de France (56% social housing, 38%
of household below poverty line, difficult location due to
heavy traffic).
✚ Favouring social mix and cohesion through sports activi-
ties, like the co-construction of a city stadium, play areas
for young children or collective practices that benefit the
environment (creation of a shared garden).
✚ Creating opportunities and institutional structures for
comprehensive participation of tenants and stakeholders
for the new project design. Application is very transparent
and well documented.
✚ With the ERHIN trophy, Villeneuve-Saint-Georges oPH
hopes to experiment more by attracting the attention of
artists, architects, sociologists, urban planners, etc. who
wish to participate and contribute with new ideas.

Scale

local

More information

http://www.housingeurope.eu/resource-1285/meet-the-winners-of-the-3rd-european-responsible-housing-awards http://oph-vsg.fr/?s=kaleidoscope

http://oph-vsg.fr
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