This study records the experiences of people involved in the development of a neighbourhood house program in one Australian State - Tasmania. The study was not intended to be, and should not be seen as, an evaluation of that program. Rather, it was undertaken as a case study with the purpose of examining and illustrating the processes which took place in the development of the program and identifying some of the issues that arise in the application of the concepts of community development and self-help. As such, the study should be of interest to the readers and of particular value to those social welfare workers who are interested in becoming (or already are) involved in community work. The empirical data for this report was collected some time ago (late 1985) but the issues analysed in the report are as important today as they have always been. The report analyses the events and processes through which the concept of a neighbourhood house came to be translated into a State-wide program. It examines the various stages in the evolution of the program and identifies some of the dilemmas faced by community groups and professionals in community work. For professional social welfare workers as well as for government and non-government organisations this study poses the question: how can social movements 'from below' be promoted and/or assisted without the movements and the ideas they might want to pursue being 'taken over' and integrated into the system of welfare services directed 'from above'? Can the state through its provision of material and human resources be an enabler without being a controller?