Barrhead becomes first Scottish landlord to sign up to Board Charter for Community Investment


HACT is delighted to announce that Barrhead Housing Association, is the first social housing organisation in Scotland to sign up to the Board Charter for Community Investment.

“We congratulate the Board of Barrhead in signing up to the Board Charter for Community Investment,” said Andrew van Doorn, Chief Executive of HACT. “As the first housing association in Scotland to sign up to the Charter, they have demonstrated their commitment to community investment and highlighted their role as one of the leading anchor institutions in East Renfrewshire.

“Since the Centre for Excellence in Community Investment launched the Board Charter in September, we have been inundated with interest from housing providers,” Andrew continued. “Many social housing organisations in Scotland are already driving forward the community investment agenda and they recognise that there is now a significant opportunity for us to speak more collectively, effectively and publicly, formalising our long-term commitment and ensuring our social purpose is embedded across our businesses.”

David McCready, Chair of Barrhead Housing Association, commented: “As Chair of Barrhead Housing Association, I can confirm that our Board were delighted to commit to the pledges within the Centre for Excellence in Community Investment Board Charter, and we are pleased to learn that we are the first housing Association in Scotland to do so.

“Our Association has been involved in wider community regeneration activity for many years, and we remain fully committed to strengthening and growing communities through investment in community regeneration activity. Our current regeneration strategy is under review. In doing so, we will seek to ensure that our updated strategy is underpinned by the nine Board Charter pledges which we have committed to, and we look forward to working with the Centre for Excellence to help maximise the impact of our future work.”

We are inviting all Boards to sign up to the Board Charter, which consists of nine pledges. These pledges demonstrate a commitment of each organisation not only to invest in their communities but to do so in a strategic and impactful way.

The Charter has been developed by the Centre for Excellence in Community Investment’s Influence Working Group, which comprises representatives from across the UK community investment sector.

“The role of providers of social housing in tackling both the housing crisis and the poverty crisis is more important than ever. Now, more than ever, they are playing a critical role as anchor institutions within communities,” Andrew van Doorn continued. “We are working with the SFHA and Lintel Trust to support the Scottish social housing sector to evidence and validate the impact they make within their communities. Our Insight tools provide housing associations with the data not only to measure their social value impact, but also to plan future community investment initiatives that are effective and cost-efficient. By adopting the Board Charter, we can drive forward an agenda together that recognises and develops the essential role social housing organisations play in their communities.”

Editor’s notes

Barrhead Housing Association is a locally-based provider of high quality, affordable, rented housing. Set up as a registered social landlord in 1986, the Association has an active development programme and currently owns over 930 properties through East Renfrewshire.

HACT launched the Centre for Excellence in Community Investment in September 2018. The Board Charter was launched at the Housing Summit in September 2019 during a speech given by Andrew van Doorn at the conference.

The Board Charter consists of nine pledges to which social housing organisation Boards are required to commit:

The Communities Pledge:

  • Community investment is core to our role as a social housing organisation and central to our social purpose.
  • We commit to owning, investing in, and celebrating our community investment work and its impact.
  • We will work with the Centre for Excellence in Community Investment to help maximise and measure the impact of our work, as well as invest in the people who deliver it.

How we’re going to deliver it:

  • Our Community Investment Strategy will be underpinned by an action plan, and the appropriate resources, people and skills to deliver on our objectives.
  • We will ensure residents are at the heart of community investment, co-creating service design and involved in scrutiny and review.
  • We will be part of our communities, with Board members leaving the boardroom to see community investment delivery first-hand.

How we’ll demonstrate it:

  • We commit to a methodologically robust and rigorous measurement mechanism to evidence the impact of community investment activity.
  • We will publish key measures of success in our annual report to facilitate transparency and accountability.
  • We will be leaders and advocates for community investment, both in and outside of the housing sector.