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Case Studies

Housing Transformation Ethnography with Residents,

London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham

In 2022, Neighbourly Lab was commissioned by London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham to conduct ethnographic research with residents living on its estates. The research contributed to the borough's Housing Transformation Strategy so that residents’ voices were listened to. 


In order to do this listening effectively and sustainably, we trained up some of the Housing Teams frontline staff to carry out deep listening with residents. We created a Listening Squad of about 10 frontline staff and worked with them online and in the field, honing their skills to help the council to understand what’s really going on for its residents, so that insights could be fed into policy and support transformation ambitions. 

The Listening Squad and Neighbourly Lab team  established 5 types of resident engagement ‘types’, which were presented to the transformation team as case studies.

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They fed back on the implications and opportunities for the digital landlord in effectively supporting and engaging their residents. Together, we also developed a set of design principles, written through the lens of the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham residents. That was so that any future work could be benchmarked by holding the residents in mind, and checking off whether those criteria were met.

London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham regarding our work:

What I thought was particularly valuable about Neighbourly Lab’s approach, was how they concentrated their time on getting very detailed feedback from far fewer residents than we might ordinarily have done.
Although we - as intended - worked with a smaller cohort than if we had, for example, sent out a survey, the feedback we got was really insightful and much more comprehensive.

Listening Squad for connecting and understanding residents, 

London Borough of Camden Council

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Camden Council wanted to find ways of connecting and understanding its residents better. We developed an interdepartmental model of the Listening Squad and went out with the Listening Squad, explored needs and co-designed interventions that could potentially meet these needs. 


The Listening Squads in this project included people who lived in and worked for the London Borough of Camden. They worked on different frontline teams: from Family Hubs to Repairs, to Community Engagement and Market Enforcement. 


As part of this work we engaged other Council staff, to help understand what else was going on in the community and build out the co-designed ideas. Thanks to some great deep listening, the squad surfaced a range of different solutions for better Council Resident connection, that often focused on empowering residents with care and social connection. 


Listening Squad member - Repairs Team

I wanted to get involved in this as you spend a third of your life as a resident/employee, it is not just an employee and not just a resident. 

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