At 650 occupations, the community of Houlton has grown to a level where there is a strong and active . During the pandemic, where it was discouraged to be in close social contact we devised ways of listening to our community on themes and issues where were upcoming. Digital methods such as online surveys and QR codes enabled residents to engage without physical contact. During the data collection window, residents were able to tag their friends and family in the survey to further encourage participation.

Survey response rates were circa 120 per survey demonstrating the perceived value in shaping decisions which directly affect the community. Our first survey collected data about working from home in preparation for an upcoming working from home hub, early analysis showed that over 80% of respondents predicted that they wouldn’t fully return to the office. Other surveys looked at upcoming formal open space and allotment provision to measure the interest in plot hire and experience of operating an allotment plot.

The community have remained actively engaged in the findings and are keen to see the influence of the survey on delivery at Houlton.

Our established community are one of the first to help shape the future of the development. During Covid lockdowns we have been limited with the range of face-to-face consultations we can run safely. To keep pace with development and still collect valuable insight, we decided to create online surveys with excellent responses. Conversations on topics like allotments and co-working continue on our social media channels.”

CCP for Houlton