Effective management of the scheme is essential to its long term success - and taking time to consider the options before the scheme is complete is very important.
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Establishing a CCLH scheme, whichever options is chosen, will also require decisions to be made about how the housing scheme is managed. Bespoke arrangements are likely to be needed that are suitable for the CCLH scheme and any partner organisations.
Several CCLH schemes (usually smaller ones) use some voluntary service delivery, where members deliver services.
The advantages of Voluntary Service Delivery are that it may result in a hands-on approach delivering effective localised and personal service delivery that members want and which will cost less to deliver. The disadvantages are that this approach requires long-term voluntary commitment and there can be conflicts between governance and operational delivery.
Several CCLH schemes (usually larger ones) directly employ staff. The advantages of Staff Employment are that the CCLH scheme enjoys the professional services of dedicated members of staff. The disadvantages are that staff management can be a challenging responsibility for volunteers that historically may not be well fulfilled by community groups. There may also be staff cover issues, and challenges if the staff recruited do not have sufficient skills. Staff employment is also not viable for many CCLH schemes.
Some CCLH schemes buy services from a service provider or a housing association partner. The advantages of Service Provider or Housing Association employment are that the service provider is responsible for the staff relationship and provides cover as appropriate and they have access to staff trained in various disciplines. The disadvantages are that if a relationship with a service provider is not properly designed, staff and CCLH scheme members may lose sight of the community-led nature of the scheme. There may also be VAT implications.
The importance of defining relationships
Smaller and Grass Roots developed schemes are likely to be entirely voluntarily managed. Slightly larger CCLH and Top Down Meets Bottom Up schemes are likely to be managed through a mixture of voluntary involvement and staff or service provider provision of services. Defining these relationships effectively will be important to ensuring the success of the CCLH scheme.