The Centre for Excellence in Community Investment will champion and celebrate the importance and impact of community investment across the UK.

Our first national conference

21 May 2019

Every year, social housing providers invest millions of pounds in their communities, whether through employment schemes, youth work, financial capability initiatives, grant-making or a range of other activities.

This year, for the first time, the Centre for Excellence in Community Investment is hosting the first national conference dedicated to community investment.

Workshop sessions will include: 

  • Youth engagement (with Daniel Rose, Spotlight Director)
  • Supporting boards to champion community investment
  • Improving your social impact measurement skills
  • Using procurement to drive community investment

Book your ticket 

Speakers & panel discussions

  • The future of civil society, where do housing associations fit?
    Asif Afridi – Panel member, Independent Inquiry into the future of civil society, and Deputy CEO of Brap
  • Community investment at the core of social housing
    Speaker to be announced shortly!
  • Can community investment deliver resident involvement?
    Panel discussion Rachel Honey-Jones, Head of Community Regeneration, Newydd HA and others to be announced
  • GUAC – Communities that Work week
    Lynsey Sweeney, Managing Director, GUAC and Jon Fisher, Head of Communities, Sovereign, and Chair of Board, GUAC
  • Celebrating five years of the Social Value Bank: the impact of community investment
    Mary-Kathryn Adams, Deputy CEO, HACT

HACT is proud to announce the launch of the Centre for Excellence in Community Investment, which has been made possible thanks to Peabody, L&Q, Clarion, Orbit and Sovereign. To keep informed about the Centre and details about activities in your area, please sign up. 

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One of the key pillars of work for the Centre will be to provide a platform to promote and evidence the impact of community investment.

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We will encourage and promote innovation by curating a programme of thought leadership and identifying and sharing best practice.

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Building evidence that drives insight and demonstrates outcomes will be the Centre’s third pillar, demonstrating the impact of community investment.

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The fourth pillar will be to develop programmes for delivering collaboration and inspiration for community investment.

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We want the Centre for Excellence in Community Investment to be the place to come for the latest research reports, best practice examples and practical toolkits about community investment.

To submit research or examples of best practice to the Centre for Excellence in Community Investment please contact

Pembury Children's Community

Pembury Children’s Community: April 2015 to March 2018 Impact Report
Published by Peabody, June 2018

The 10 year Pembury Children’s Community programme in Hackney is now three years old. This report summarises its achievements and outlines plans for the future.

Evidence shows that it is essential to work across all areas of children’s lives – home, school and community – to make a difference. Children’s Communities bring together local organisations over the long term so that children get the support they need, regardless of their background or where they live.

Download Pembury Children’s Community

Better Days

Better Days:
Have a good day, every day. Our guide to communicating and engaging with our customers
Published by Orbit, October 2016

This guide was produced for staff and partners working across Orbit to help them create the best possible communications and engagement with customers. It includes customer insights, how to define your audience, and how to create a strong message, use the right channels, and understand what matters to your customers.

Download Better days


Women, families and work

Women, families and work:
How to help L&Q’s women residents into work and tackle the barriers they face
Executive Summary

Published by L&Q, August 2015

This research aims to better understand the constraints felt by L&Q’s women residents with children to make the transition into work, and the support that could make and sustain the transition.

It also aimed to identify a range of practical ways in which L&Q could support women residents to overcome barriers to work.

Download Women, families and work


Community asset transfer toolkit

Community asset transfer:
A toolkit for housing providers
Authors: Mary-Kathryn Rallings Adams and Frances Harkin

Published by HACT, September 2015

Using the experience of Affinity Sutton’s Community Asset Transfer Programme, this toolkit explains how they moved their portfolio of community buildings into long-term local ownership.

The toolkit explores the process from the perspective of community organisations, in order to enable housing providers to understand the operational realities and practical challenges of Community Asset Transfer.


Download Community Asset Transfer toolkit


Positive Steps Thamesmead

Positive Steps Thamesmead:
The story so far
Authors: Giles Piercy, Paula Hines and Get Kellaghan
Published by Peabody, May 2018

This is the evaluation report of Peabody’s Positive Steps Thamesmead (PST) programme that started operating in Thamesmead in April 2015.

The report shows how the programme is having a measurable impact on the lives of local people, of whom well over a thousand were seen by PST volunteers. It also highlights how PST has benefitted other stakeholder groups, including statutory providers, local partner and volunteers.

Download Positive Steps Thamesmead

Happy Healthy Starts

Happy Healthy Starts:
Providing the tools to help families thrive
Author: Rachel Dixon and Christoph Sinn
Published by Orbit, March 2018

This report is the culmination of twelve months of research conducted by Orbit in partnership with the Child Poverty Action Group to find out more about the children and parents living in their homes.

It includes a number of practical solutions, including the three key steps:

  • listening and engaging with children to understand their needs
  • challenging and questioning processes
  • working in partnership to achieve more

Download Happy Healthy Starts


Developing a community investment strategy

Developing a community investment strategy:
A framework for practitioners
Author: Sally Thomas
Published by HACT, June 2015 (updated version)

This framework provides guidance for housing providers as they develop a community investment strategy that is tailored to the needs of their communities.

The framework can be both a guide and a toolkit: it brings together information, experience and references in order to help all housing providers develop their community investment programmes.

This is the updated version from 2015.

Download Developing a community investment strategy


James Howick: Saltwortkz

James Howick – Saltworkz
Clarion Futures Communities case study
Published by Clarion Futures, September 2018

This case study explains how Clarion Futures has supported James in his work at Saltworkz, a community café in Haywards Heath.

Download James Howick case study


Community investment and the bottom line

Community investment and the bottom line
Authors: Jim Vine, with Christina Knudsen and Phil Goddard
Published by HACT, November 2016

Using a series of data analytical methods, this research paper sets out to establish whether community investment activities provide a return on investment and cost savings. It demonstrates that successful community investment activities go beyond benefitting residents and improve the costs and demands on the core housing business.

Download Community investment and the bottom line


Hayat Ahmed: resident

Hayat Ahmed – resident
Clarion Futures Jobs & Training case study
Published by Clarion Futures, September 2018

This case study explains how Clarion Futures has supported Hayat into finding a training course and a new job.

Download James Howick case study


Measuring the social impact of community investment

Measuring the social impact of community investment: A guide to using the wellbeing valuation approach Authors: Lizzie Trotter, Jim Vine, Matt Leach, Daniel Fujiwara Published by HACT, March 2014 This report provides a practical method to assess the social impact of community investment initiatives. Evolving from the groundbreaking work published by HACT and the London School of Economic’s Daniel Fujiwara in 2013, this handbook provides a model for measuring housing provider’s social impact. The model is based on the tests conducted by a small number of housing associations into its practical implementation, ensuring that the methodology is relevant and accessible. Download Measuring the social impact of community investment
The Centre for Excellence in Community Investment is supported by:
The Centre for Excellence in Community Investment is administered and maintained by HACT, UK housing’s ideas and innovation agency.

Contact us

49-51 East Road
London  N1 6AH