Neighbourhood houses themselves are vulnerable to the risks of climate change and can experience disruptions during periods of heightened need. For example, when air conditioners or communications are interrupted during power outages, or when staff and volunteers are not able to get to work due to inaccessible roads or public transport. Neighbourhood houses need the support and resources to adapt and build organisational resilience so that they can minimise impacts on the health and wellbeing of their participants, volunteers, staff and the wider community.
In early 2022, the Centre for Just Places worked with a network of six neighbourhood houses in Darebin to co-design a climate action and resilience framework for neighbourhood houses. Together we developed the Darebin Neighbourhood House Network Climate Action and Resilience Plan. We used what we learnt from the process to develop a guide for other neighbourhood house networks. The guide is designed to support a network of houses through a collaborative process to identify their strategic priorities, advocacy priorities, and opportunities to collaborate to build sustainable and resilient houses and local communities, based on their strengths and the community’s needs.
Why work as a network of neighbourhood houses?
While priorities may differ at the organisational level due to the diversity of houses and their communities, strong place-based networks of neighbourhood houses exist that further build their capacity to respond to community needs.