The first step in the process of policy formulation, as shown in the diagram below, is to capture the values or principles that will guide the rest of the process and form the basis on which to produce a statement of issues. The statement of issues involves identifying the opportunities and constraints affecting the local housing market, and is to be produced by thoroughly analysing the housing market. The kit provides the user with access to a housing data base to facilitate this analysis.
The process of policy formulation
Diagram: The Process of Policy Formulation
The statement of issues will provide the basis for the formulation of a set of housing goals and objectives, designed to address the problems identified and to exploit the opportunities which present themselves.
The next step is to identify and analyse the various policy options which can be applied to achieve the set of goals and objectives. The options available to each local government will depend on local circumstances as much as the broader context, and each local authority will have to develop its own unique approach to addressing the housing needs of its residents.
An implementation program for realising the policy recommendations must then be prepared, addressing budgetary and programming requirements, and allocating roles and responsibilities.
Finally, the implementation of the housing strategy needs to be systematically monitored and evaluated against the stated goals and objectives, and the various components of the strategy modified or strengthened, as required.
At each step of the way, each component of the strategy needs to be discussed and debated, and a public consultation process engaged in. The extent of consultation and the participants involved will vary with each step.
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Checklist: getting started
Matters for councils to consider in developing and implementing a housing strategy and facilitating housing projects may include:
1. Have you got an adequate and up to date information base to help you identify and analyse housing needs and appropriate responses? Your information base should include a combination of social, environmental and economic data, and also incorporate the perspectives of community, industry, and government stakeholders. You need a way to update this data regularly.
2. How will you identify the aims and objectives for your Local Housing Strategy? Early and sustained consultation is important to ensure that local residents understand, contribute to, and support housing objectives for their community, and that the strategy has the backing of industry and government stakeholders important to its implementation.
3. Are the necessary resources in place to make the strategy achievable?Resources are likely to include dedicated staff time, training for staff and perhaps local industry, sources of funds to assist in establishing projects, and additional resources to undertake changes to statutory planning instruments if needed.
4. How will you connect your housing strategy to council’s other strategic responsibilities and planning processes? Local housing strategies should be closely linked to council’s other planning responsibilities and processes. Councils could choose to prepare a separate housing strategy, or it can be incorporated within council’s existing strategic processes and plans.
5. How might your strategy relate to the work of other local councils at the sub regional and regional level? Housing issues are rarely confined to a single local government area — it may make sense to work collaboratively with other local councils to develop complementary responses to housing needs at a regional level.
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