England & Wales Housing and planning

Crowding out


Image by Markus Spiske from Pixabay

The effects of overcrowding are far-reaching. It affects mental and physical health; puts a strain on family relationships, child development and education. It also causes practical problems: queues for the bathroom in the morning, lack of personal space, lack of storage space – all of these problems can result in poor outcomes for families.

My new project has been set up to alleviate some of these problems. A few residents will small adaptations such as an extra wash hand basin installed. Others will have space-saving solutions. I aim to build resilience by helping families to build on their life skills by helping them to link in with the relevant community services. Camden’s Warmth, Income, Safety and Health service (Wish+) is a great way for Camden residents to get access to a range of services.

Local authorities know we have to do something, but with more spending cuts and less community resources how do we improve life outcomes for residents.

Doing something for nothing has never been so important – this is where the Public Collaboration Lab (PCL) comes in.

With budget reductions affecting many services across the council, the PCL offers a unique and timely opportunity to utilise design techniques to help us consider our challenges in new and collaborative ways with Camden staff, CSM students, local residents and partners exploring new ideas and co-designing solutions together.

From 19th April I will be working with a group of MA design students from Central St Martins (CSM) on an exciting new venture which will see us join forces to support innovation, transformation and change in how we tackle overcrowding in Camden.

From 19th April I will be facilitating a new, short-term, initiative where CSM students, local community groups and local residents explore new ideas and co-designing solutions together. A local business, Leyland SDM, will kindly be donating decorating supplies to the project.

I’m sure that this is the way to go as we explore different ways of working together that will create a totally new way of working which concentrates on building relationships in the community to solve problems. My summer/autumn blog will let you know how it went.

For more information, please contact email me at [email protected]

Rose La Touche is a partnership officer in housing management at Camden Council.