Backing Community-Led Housing
We will strengthen, support and champion the growth of community-led housing, so that more people who are in need will benefit.
Our interpretation of community-led housing is deliberately broad: ultimately we mean communities that are taking a leading role in providing housing solutions for people in need. We know that the depth of community involvement will vary, therefore control and operation of the organisation or project may not sit with the community. However, it is fundamental that the needs and views of communities are at the forefront of decision-making.
Community-led housing schemes come in a variety of forms, shapes and sizes. They can build new homes, create homes from empty properties, protect existing decent, affordable homes and provide homes of all types of tenure.
Community-led organisations are well placed both to challenge the threats to existing local homes for people in need, as well as to increase the supply of homes that meet the needs of local people. We know that although individual community-led housing schemes are often small, the energy and commitment of local people and organisations can create a big impact for the individuals and communities in which they work.
We firmly believe that their ideas and approaches should be shared and adapted across the UK, delivering change at scale, while respecting different local circumstances.
The change we want to see is that community-led housing delivers an increased number of homes for people in need. We envisage a future where community-led housing is thriving and where many more people are living in homes created through this approach.
We will use our funding and influence to strengthen, support and champion the growth of community-led housing, so that more people will benefit.
To make this change happen, we will be prioritising work that:
- Strengthens the infrastructure of the community-led housing sector to build new homes and bring empty properties into use as homes. Increasing the infrastructure will mean that there is better access to the information, support, advice and technical expertise that is needed for a scheme to progress.
- Increases the availability of funding and financing for community-led housing so that there is suitable and affordable finance at every stage.
To strengthen the infrastructure: we will fund organisations that provide information, support, advice and technical expertise to help community-led housing schemes progress. We know that a wide-range of different approaches could be taken and we are looking to organisations to tell us what they think will work.
Ensuring that there is robust knowledge of what works well and which ideas should be expanded and progressed long term is integral to our approach. Therefore, we will be carrying out action research on the different approaches to identify the most effective models of support.
To increase the availability of funding and finance for community-led housing: we will work with existing partners and continue to connect, collaborate and engage with others. Therefore, we are not accepting unsolicited funding applications for this element of the programme.
Due to a high level of demand, we are not running an open grants application process for this programme at the moment. However, we hope to re-open this fund later in 2018.