ERS helps Poplar HARCA gain strong turnout for regeneration ballot
ERS delivered the largest and most ambitious regeneration ballot to date, with strong turnout providing a clear mandate for Poplar HARCA’s regeneration proposal for the Teviot Estate.
In July 2018, London Mayor Sadiq Khan introduced Section 8 of the GLA Capital Funding Guide, requiring resident ballots to be carried out for proposed major social housing estate regeneration schemes before they can receive City Hall funding. The ballot asks whether eligible residents agree with the estate regeneration proposal detailed in a formalised landlord offer document.
ERS is uniquely well placed to manage such projects, having administered every estate regeneration ballot in London since the new requirement was introduced. While they may share some characteristics, there is no simple way to define what constitutes a social housing estate. No estate is the same and each project has its own specific requirements and considerations. The GLA guidance offers flexibility in the project approach, which allows ERS to create a unique project plan for each and every client. As a result, each estate regeneration ballot in London administered by ERS has been distinctly bespoke.
Poplar HARCA: Teviot Regeneration Ballot
Poplar HARCA (Housing and Regeneration Community Association), an award winning Housing Association, appointed ERS to plan and administer the resident ballot for their proposed regeneration of the Teviot Estate in East London.
Opened in 1972, Teviot covers a half square mile area stretching from the Limehouse Cut in the north to Langdon Park in the south and from the A12 Blackwall Tunnel approach road in the east to the DLR in the west.
Working with the Residents’ Steering Group to ensure the offer was what residents want for the future of their estate, Poplar HARCA’s proposals for regenerating the Teviot Estate, Poplar include 1,800–2,450 new homes, new green and play spaces, shops, community and faith facilities, and improved infrastructure.
Largest, Most Ambitious Regeneration Ballot To Date
The Teviot ballot was the largest and most ambitious of the regeneration ballots ERS has administered to date. With our expertise in the sector, we were able to help Poplar HARCA avoid the inherent pitfalls of housing ballots. Working closely with their dedicated Resident Empowerment team, their Development and Comms teams and senior leadership, we were able to achieve meaningful engagement with the community to deliver a strong turnout and a clear mandate.
The project team met a number of times with Poplar HARCA to discuss the specific requirements of the estate. ERS also canvassed the requirements of the residents themselves at a Resident Steering Group meeting. As a result, ERS was able to produce a bespoke strategy for the ballot designed to increase resident engagement and participation in the process.
ERS’ Expertise & Experience Deliver Results
Voting packs were hand delivered to eligible residents by a team of ERS staff over a single day. The ballot packs contained a translation sheet in the predominant languages of the area.
Residents then had the option to return their vote by pre-paid post, online through a dedicated voting website, or in-person at one of three ballot boxes, manned by ERS staff, positioned in strategic locations across the estate. All ballot papers included a map showing the location and opening times of the polling stations.
Having a visible ERS presence provided residents with the opportunity to ask our staff questions about the independent administration of the ballot, as well as securely casting their vote just a stones-throw away from their front door. This gave residents absolute confidence in the impartiality of the ballot and added to the legitimacy of the result.
The Poplar HARCA team conducted a series of door knocks, newsletter deliveries, drop-in sessions and consultation events before and during the ballot to give residents the opportunity to ask questions and engage in the voting process.
Strong Turnout, Clear Mandate
The ERS project team was also able to provided Poplar HARCA with daily non-voter lists to enable targeted canvassing. This helped to encourage and increase turnout while avoiding undue irritation to those who had already voted. As return rates started to plateau, extra turnout services were also employed to further engage residents – leading to a spike in turnout in the final days of the ballot.
The ballot concluded with residents giving a clear mandate to Poplar HARCA to proceed with the estate regeneration proposals – with a turnout of 81% and a positive majority of 86% of voters supporting the plans.
With a clear mandate from an excellent turnout, Steve Stride, Chief Executive of Poplar HARCA, said: “The Teviot community is strong and close, and they have told us what they want for the future of their estate. There’s still a lot of hard work to be done, and we are excited to continue to work with residents to realise their aspirations.”
Additional Balloting Services
In addition to our unique experience and expertise in planning and delivering Regeneration Ballot projects, ERS can also provide balloting services for Large Stock Transfer Ballot, Tenant Management Organisations, Tenant Board Elections and TMO continuation ballot.
What our client thinks
Paul Dooley – Director of Estate Regeneration, Poplar HARCA
Head of Sector