Home‎ > ‎Full Report‎ > ‎


Affordable housing is a term that refers to housing which is either for sale or for rent – or a combination of both – at below current market values. Typically, it takes the form of social rented, shared ownership, key worker, outright below market sale or below market rent in the private sector.

Anti-social behaviour covers a wide range of activities that are perceived to blight the quality of community life. An Anti-Social Behaviour Order (ASBO), is a statutory measure (Crime and Disorder Act 1998, S.1) to protect the public against behaviour "that causes or is likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress" to an individual householder or a neighbourhood. It is applicable to anyone over the age of 10. Breach of the order is a criminal offence, with a maximum penalty of five years in prison.

Asset based development A development strategy that recognises that the possession of tangible assets (land, buildings or a dedicated income) is the key to achieving the goals of self-sufficiency, independence and sustainability which underpin community based regeneration organisations.

Asylum seekers are people who have fled their homeland, arrived in another country and exercised their legal right to apply for sanctuary (or asylum). They are not allowed to work and have to rely on 'Asylum Support', which is set at either 70% of income support, or £35 a week in supermarket vouchers. Refused asylum seekers have had their claim for asylum turned down and been told that they cannot remain in the UK. Refused asylum seekers receive no state aid or housing support and are only entitled to primary health care.

Benchmarking is a means to working out how well an organisation is doing by comparing its performance with other similar ones using performance indicators (PIs).

Capacity building is the development of skills and knowledge in local communities, often to allow local people to contribute to social and economic regeneration.

Charities are particular types of voluntary organisation that take a distinctive legal form. Charities must provide benefit to the public. Their aims, purposes or objectives have to be exclusively those which the law recognises as charitable. A registered charity will usually be given a special tax status and benefit from a number of tax exemptions and reliefs. Registered charities have to obey a number of rules and regulations set out in charity law. Those that are registered as companies also have to comply with company law. A registered charity is not allowed to have political objectives or take part in political lobbying (other than in a generally educational sense).

Civil society is defined by the World Bank as referring to the wide range of “non-governmental and not-for-profit organizations that have a presence in public life, expressing the interests and values of their members or others, based on ethical, cultural, political, scientific, religious or philanthropic considerations.” It covers, therefore, a wide of array of organisations including community groups, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), charitable organisations and faith-based organisations.

Commissioning is defined as “the cycle of assessing the needs of people in an area, designing and then securing appropriate service” ('Partnership in Public Services', 2006, Cabinet Office). A commissioning cycle includes: strategic needs assessment; deciding priorities and outcomes; planning and designing services; options appraisal; sourcing; delivery; monitoring and review.

Common Assessment Framework (CAF) is a shared assessment and planning framework for use across all children's services and all local areas in England. It aims to help the early identification of children's additional needs and promote co-ordinated service provision to meet them. It is a standardised approach to conducting an assessment of a child's additional needs and deciding how those needs should be met.

Community business is a trading organisation which is set up, owned and controlled by the local community and which aims to create self supporting employment for local people and also act as a focus for local development. The terms community business is often used by social enterprises that focus on local markets and services.

Community cohesion is what must happen in all communities to enable different groups of people to get on well together. A key ingredient is integration; that is, enabling new residents and existing residents to adjust to one another. There can be said to be three bases of an integrated and cohesive community: people from different backgrounds having similar life opportunities; people knowing their rights and responsibilities; people trusting one another and trusting local institutions to act fairly. There are also key ways of living together: a shared future vision and sense of belonging; a focus on what new and existing communities have in common, alongside recognition of the value of diversity; strong and positive relationships between people from different backgrounds.

Community enterprises are organisations trading for social purpose with a community base.

Community Interest Company (CIC) a legal form for social enterprises. Community Interest Companies (CICS) are limited companies, with special additional features, created for the use of people who want to conduct a business or other activity for community benefit, and not purely for private advantage. This is achieved by a “community interest test” and “asset lock”, which ensure that the CIC is established for community purposes and the assets and profits are dedicated to these purposes. Registration of a company as a CIC has to be approved by the Regulator who also has a continuing monitoring and enforcement role.

Community Land Trust (CLT) is a non-profit, community-based organisation run by volunteers that develops housing or other assets at permanently affordable levels for long-term community benefit. It does this through local ownership and control, reducing the value of the land that the homes are built on and, in the case of shared-equity homes, fixing the resale percentage, thereby enabling occupiers to pay for the use of buildings and services at prices they can afford. The value of land, subsidies, planning gain and other equity benefits are permanently locked in by the CLT who holds the asset in trust for long-term community benefit.

Company limited by guarantee: a company registered with Companies House with members rather than shareholders; members guarantee a nominal sum for paying liabilities and can also pay a regular membership subscription. Charities, Development Trusts, Social Firms and Community Businesses frequently use this form of incorporation.

Company limited by shares: a company registered with Companies House which is controlled by its shareholders. This form is often used for trading subsidiaries of charities.

Competitive contracting: arrangements for procuring services that involve tendering by more than one potential provider. Tenders are assessed against criteria that assess value for money, quality and cost.

Co-operative: an organisation owned and controlled by its members which is incorporated under the Industrial and Provident Societies Act and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. This is another popular form for social enterprises.

Corporate social responsibility (CSR): A wide ranging set of concepts that relate to businesses conducting their activities responsibly. Factors include environmental impacts, employee and customer health and safety issues, participation in local communities (being a good neighbour), good corporate governance, other social issues and ethical and fair trading.

Credit union: a financial co-operative, which is owned and controlled by its members. Only people who come within the common bond of the credit union can join it and make use of their services. They are a good savings option for members, but also the money saved can be used to make low interest loans. Credit unions are directed and controlled by volunteer Boards of Directors.

Criminal Records Bureau: a number of roles, especially those involving children or vulnerable adults, require a criminal record check. The Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) comes under the Home Office. Criminal Records Bureau website content can now be found on one of three different websites, depending on the audience:

· www.direct.gov.uk/crb - information and access to services for CRB
· www.businesslink.gov.uk/crb - information for registered bodies and other associated businesses and organisations using the CRB service
· www.homeoffice.gov.uk/crb - corporate information and publications for particular interest groups and partners

Development trusts: organisations that are:

· engaged in the economic, environmental and social regeneration of a defined area or community;
· independent and aiming for self sufficiency;
· not for private profit;
· community based and owned; and
· actively involved in partnerships between the community, voluntary, private and public sectors.

Equity finance: funds invested in a business in the form of shares. Investors usually have a say in the running of the company and also receive a dividend from profits.

ESOL stands for English for speakers of other languages. ESOL courses include speaking and listening; reading and writing; vocabulary; punctuation and grammar

Extra Care Housing is housing designed for frailer older people and with varying levels of care and support available on site. People who live in Extra Care Housing have their own self contained homes, their own front doors and a legal right to occupy the property. Extra Care Housing is also known as very sheltered housing, assisted living, or simply as 'housing with care'. It comes in many built forms, including blocks of flats, bungalow estates and retirement villages. It is a popular choice among older people because it can sometimes provide an alternative to a care home.

Fair trade: a term referring to an alternative approach to international trade aiming to encourage sustainable development for excluded and disadvantaged producers.

Fuel poverty: A household is said to be in fuel poverty if it needs to spend more than 10 per cent of its income on fuel to maintain a satisfactory heating regime, which is 21 degrees Celsius for the main living area, and 18 degrees for other occupied rooms.

Homelessness means not having a home, but it does not necessarily mean being roofless or a rough sleeper. It also applies where a person has no right to remain where they are living or if their accommodation is unsuitable, for example because it is overcrowded or its conditions affect the person’s health or if s/he is at risk of violence or abuse.

Housing Market Renewal: a programme to renew the housing market in those parts of the North and Midlands where demand for housing is relatively weak and which, as a result, have seen significant decline in population, increased dereliction, poor services and poor social conditions. Its objective was to renew failing or weak housing markets and reconnect them to regional markets. Between 2003 and 2011, some £2.2 billion HMR funding was invested in the programme which also secured more than £1 billion additional investment from public and private partners. The programme was originally envisaged to operate over a ten to fifteen year period but the government has ended it after only eight years, which has left much work unfinished. By 2011, activities in most HMR areas had not reached a scale likely to tip the balance in favour of a normal market response.

Index of Multiple Deprivation measures relative levels of deprivation in small areas of England called Lower Layer Super Output Areas (SOAs). They comprise seven dimensions or domains of deprivation: Income Deprivation, Employment Deprivation, Health Deprivation and Disability, Education Skills and Training Deprivation, Barriers to Housing and Services, Living Environment Deprivation, and Crime. Individual domains can be used in isolation as measures of each specific form of deprivation. They can also be combined, using appropriate weights, into a single overall Index of Multiple Deprivation which can be used to rank every small area in England. Two supplementary indices are Income Deprivation Affecting Children Index and Income Deprivation Affecting Older People Index.

Industrial and Provident Society is a body incorporated under the Industrial and Provident Societies Acts, and includes co-ops, some development trusts and a range of other organisations.

Joint Strategic Needs Assessment
: the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007 required primary care trusts and local authorities to produce a Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) of the health and wellbeing of their local community to identify the current and future health and wellbeing needs of a local population, inform the local priorities and targets and lead to agreed commissioning priorities to improve outcomes and reduce health inequalities.

Joint venture is when two or more concerns pool their resources and expertise to achieve a particular goal. The risks and rewards of the enterprise are also shared. Joint ventures can be used to strengthen long-term relationships or to collaborate on short-term projects.

LETS is a term that refers to local exchange trading schemes. They are community-based mutual aid networks in which people exchange goods and services without the need for money. They are an organised form of bartering.

Living Wage is an hourly rate, set independently, every year (by the GLA in London). It is calculated according to the cost of living and gives the minimum pay rate required for a worker to provide their family with the essentials of life. In London the current rate is £8.30 per hour. Outside of London the current rate is £7.20.

Local Strategic Partnership (LSPs) are non-statutory partnerships, established since 2000 in most local authority areas in England. They are designed to bring together local councils, other public sector agencies, the business sector, and the third sector – voluntary and community organisations. In the later years of the last government, the main task of LSPs in first tier local authorities was developing and implementing a Local Area Agreement (LAA). The Coalition Government has continued to support the broad principles of partnership but has left it to local discretion about their continuance. It abolished LAAs from March 2011, thus removing a substantive set of statutory tasks that LSPs used to undertake. As a result, councils and their partner agencies have been reviewing the role and responsibilities of their local partnerships. Some have been retained with different functions and modified roles; others have been wound up.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
: Abraham Maslow was an American psychologist. His hierarchy of needs was fully expressed in his 1954 book Motivation and Personality. It is usually depicted as a pyramid consisting of five levels: physiological; safety; love/belonging; esteem; self-actualisation. The four lower levels are grouped together as deficiency needs, while the top level is termed a being need. The basic concept is that the higher needs in this hierarchy only come into focus once all the needs that are lower down in the pyramid are mainly or entirely satisfied.

Matrix Standard is the quality standard for organisations to assess and measure their advice and support services, which ultimately supports individuals in their choice of career.

Micro-enterprise: a very small business, usually defined as ‘a business with fewer than 10 staff’; sometimes defined as ‘a business with fewer than 5 staff’. 89% of all UK businesses have fewer than 5 employees. Some social enterprises such as development trusts run programmes to assist micro-enterprise.

Migrant workers are people who have come from abroad to work in the UK. Migrant workers often work in hotels or restaurants, food processing, fruit picking and shellfish gathering.

Minimum Wage: the National Minimum Wage (NMW) is a minimum amount per hour that most workers in the UK are entitled to be paid. There are different levels of NMW, depending on your age and whether you are an apprentice. The current rates (from 1 October 2011) are: £6.08 - the main rate for workers aged 21 and over; £4.98 - the 18-20 rate; £3.68 - the 16-17 rate for workers above school leaving age but under 18; £2.60 - the apprentice rate, for apprentices under 19 or 19 or over and in the first year of their apprenticeship.

NCVO ‘Value of Infrastructure’ (VIP) programme has developed impact tools for infrastructure organisations designed to help them to plan, monitor, evidence and communicate the impact of their work. There are tools that relate to each of the four impact levels: on organisations, on the sector, on external agencies and on people.

National Offender Management Service (NOMS): as an executive agency of the Ministry of Justice, NOMS is responsible for commissioning and delivering adult offender management services in England and Wales, in custody and in the community.

NEET is the term for those young people aged 16 to 18 who are not in education, employment and training.

Non profit or not-for-profit are terms used to describe companies which may well make a surplus, but do not distribute their profits to shareholders, instead using them for social or community benefit or reinvestment in fulfilling their social aims.

Ofsted is the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills. It reports directly to Parliament and is independent and impartial. It inspects and regulates services which care for children and young people, and those providing education and skills for learners of all ages. http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/

Outcomes Star is a tool for supporting and measuring change when working with vulnerable people. It is widely used and can be adapted for different client groups. It is available to download and use for free in paper format on condition that no changes are made. http://www.outcomesstar.org.uk/

Outputs are measures often stipulated by a funder relating to their targets. They might be counting, for example, the number of people attending a training course, the number of people given advice or the number of pupils taking part in particular activities. They can only give a quantitative picture. Numbers alone reveal little of the quality of what has been achieved. Outputs are different from impact or outcome measures, which are the changes, benefits or other effects that happen as a result of an organisation’s work. They can be wanted or unwanted, expected or unexpected. Examples might be lower unemployment, or improved literacy or health.

Performance indicators (PIs) provide a way of measuring how a service is performing against its objectives.

Personalisation is a social care approach described by the Department of Health as meaning that “every person who receives support, whether provided by statutory services or funded by themselves, will have choice and control over the shape of that support in all care settings". While often associated with direct payments and personal budgets so that service users can choose the services that they receive, personalisation also entails that services are tailored to the needs of every individual, rather than individuals having to accommodate to a one-size-fits-all range of provision.

Planning gain represents land, buildings or other facilities provided by a developer as part of the conditions for gaining planning consent for a development.

Primary Care Trusts: Primary care is the care provided by people normally seen when someone first has a health problem. These services are managed by the local primary care trust (PCT). PCTs work with local authorities and other agencies that provide health and social care locally to meet local community needs. PCTs control 80% of the NHS budget. They are to be abolished in 2013.

Refugees have proved that they would face persecution back home and have made a successful asylum application.

Regeneration is local development that addresses physical, social, environmental and economic disadvantages in both rural and urban areas. Recent regeneration programmes (now finished) which involved community projects were the Single Regeneration Budget Challenge Fund (SRB) and New Deal for Communities (NDC).

Registered social landlords (RSLs): more commonly referred to as housing associations, but also including trusts and co-operatives, RSLs are independent not-for-profit organisations that provide affordable housing and that are registered with the Homes and Communities Agency.

Right to buy was introduced in the 1980 Housing Act giving council house tenants the right to buy the home they were living in. It has been estimated that between 1980 and 1998, approximately 2 million homes in the UK were sold. Currently, housing association tenants have a right to buy. The Right to Buy rules were changed in 2005. Five years' tenancy is now required for new tenants to qualify and properties purchased after October 2004 can no longer be placed immediately on the open market should the owner decide to sell. Such owners must now approach their previous landlord and offer them ‘first refusal’.

Service level agreements
are negotiated agreements which define the relationship between two parties: the one buying the service and the provider.

Skills for Life is the national strategy for improving adult literacy, language (ESOL) and numeracy skills introduced in 2001.

Social (or ethical) accounting and social auditing
are methods of measuring and reporting an organisational social and ethical performance. An organisation that conducts a social audit makes itself accountable to its stakeholders and commits itself to following the audit's recommendations.

Social business is a term that is sometimes used by social enterprises where there is a small core of members who act in a similar way to trustees. These social businesses often focus on providing an income or employment opportunity for disadvantaged groups, or providing a service to the community.

Social capital is a term used to describe the non-financial resources – such as trust, partnership, shared values – which enable a community to thrive and function more effectively. Different sorts of social capital have been identified: ‘bonding’ (meaning the networks and ties within communities – levels of neighbourliness); ‘bridging’ (networks and ties spanning people who may have less in common: different geographic communities or different communities of interest - ethnic, cultural or faith groups or different generations) and ‘linking’ (formal and informal ties between a community and decision makers or service providers, cutting across both similarity and status, and enabling people to exert influence and reach resources outside their usual circles). In addition, some terms deriving from the idea of social capital seek to identify the role of faith. ‘Faithful capital’ was the theme of Faithful Cities, the Report from the Commission on Urban Life and Faith (2006). It can be seen as having two dimensions. ‘Religious capital’ refers to the contribution made by faith groups to local and national life. ‘Spiritual capital’ refers to the resources that individuals can draw on to meet challenges in their lives, not only a moral vision but also a theological identity and worshipping tradition that can help to energise religious capital (see Chris Baker and Hannah Skinner, Faith in Action: The dynamic connection between religious and spiritual capital, Manchester: William Temple Foundation 2006).

Social economy: Sometimes also called the ‘third sector’, this part of the economy exists between the private and public sectors and includes social enterprises, voluntary organisations, foundations, trade unions, religious bodies and housing associations.

Social enterprises are businesses driven by a social or environmental purpose, such as creating employment or increasing recycling. The government defines social enterprises as "businesses with primarily social objectives whose surpluses are principally reinvested for that purpose in the business or in the community, rather than being driven by the need to maximise profit for shareholders and owners."

Social entrepreneur is somebody who identifies and brings to life new business opportunities, motivated by public and social good rather than the need for personal profit.

Social exclusion means the exclusion of people or groups from mainstream society and reduction of their life chances for reasons such as poverty, ethnic origin, age, lack of skills, poor health, low income, criminal record or gender.

Social firm: a business created to provide integrated employment and training to people with a disability or other disadvantage in the labour market.

Social inclusion: the ability to access and benefit from the opportunities available to members of society.

Social Return on Investment (SROI) is a way of measuring and accounting for the value created in projects and services. It is a useful tool for understanding how to maximise social impact, improve performance and achieve their goals and giving an account of achievements.

Supporting People is the government programme for funding, planning and monitoring housing related support services to help vulnerable people to live as independently as possible in the community. This could be in their own homes or in hostels, sheltered housing or other specialised supported housing. It provides complementary support for people who may also need personal or medical care. Although Supporting People only funds housing support, this can be part of a package of differently funded, but co-ordinated support such as debt counselling or life skills training.

Sure Start was a government initiative launched in 1998, which aimed to give children the best possible start in life through improvement of childcare, early education, health and family support, with an emphasis on outreach and community development. The programme was originally intended to support families from pregnancy until children were four years old but it was extended to cover an undefined responsibility up to age fourteen, or sixteen for those with disabilities. The reduction in government funding for early intervention combined with local authority cuts has mean that a large number of Sure Start Children’s Centre have closed in the last eighteen months.

Surplus: the profit in many social enterprises is referred to as a surplus, to reflect their "not for profit" status.

Sustainability can refer either to the financial stability of an organisation or to the adoption of environmental policies and practices that minimise its impact on the environment.

Sustainable Community Strategy (SCS) is prepared by the Local Strategic Partnership as the set of goals and actions that partners representing the residential, business, statutory want to promote. It should set out the key tasks that the partners in the area need to achieve to improve its well being. It sits above all the other plans and should be based on evidence and consultation. The SCS should act as an umbrella for all other strategies devised for the area.

Sustainable development is the term often used to describe development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

Third Sector is another term for the voluntary and community sector (VCS). Organisations share common characteristics: they are non-governmental and value-driven. They also principally reinvest any financial surpluses to further social, environmental or cultural objectives. The term encompasses large and small voluntary and community organisations, charities, social enterprises, cooperatives and mutuals.

Triple bottom line is a term used when an organisation attaches equal importance to social and environmental objectives as to financial objectives (and measures these through social auditing – see above).