Harnessing the talents of marginalised communities

Author(s): Patricia A. Jones;   Sarfraz Hussain;  

Briefing series: Better Housing Briefing Paper 14

Publisher: Race Equality Foundation

Publication date: February 2010


Harnessing the talents of marginalised communities
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This paper encourages social housing providers to forge meaningful relationships with refugee community organisations and others right from the start. Emphasising the importance of an equal partnership in strategy and decision making, the briefing also highlights the positive role that independent parties can play in brokering these relations by helping community organisations to harness their strengths within formal settings.

Key messages:

  • Marginalised groups become visible, credible and respected partners when their role is formally recognised by housing providers
  • Community empowerment needs to be part of a wider transformation agenda, taking greater account of what communities have to offer
  • Recognition criteria establish an ongoing relationship from one of occasional consultation to one of long-term participation
  • Developing long-term participation ensures that marginalised groups play a part in social sustainability by building understanding and links at neighbourhood level.


  • The emerging role of refugee community organisations
  • A transformative approach to community empowerment
  • The importance of recognition
  • Establishing an ongoing relationship