Community-led housing is about local people playing a leading and lasting role in solving housing problems, creating genuinely affordable homes and strong communities in ways that are difficult to achieve through mainstream housing. This style of housing was key to Canterbury CLP’s 2016 Homes for Everyone Campaign and in our 2018 City Council Manifesto.
We have a significant and growing housing crisis in the UK. Providing more homes is a major Government priority; and community-led housing is firmly on the national agenda as a small, but important contributor. In many rural areas, and increasingly in urban ones too, communities are taking the lead in providing genuinely affordable homes for local people, creating community assets and helping to support local economies.
Community led housing comes in many different forms. There are no standard models, but it can include:
- Community Land Trusts provide affordable homes for local people in need by acquiring land and holding it as a community asset in perpetuity
- Housing Co-operatives involve groups of people who provide and collectively manage affordable homes for themselves as tenants or shared owners
- Co-housing schemes involve like-minded people who come together to provide self-contained, private homes for themselves, but manage their scheme together and share activities, often in a communal space
- Tenant Management Organisations provide social housing tenants with collective responsibility for managing and maintaining their homes through an agreement with a council or housing association
- Self-help housing projects involve small, community-based organisations bringing empty properties back into use, often without mainstream funding, with a strong emphasis on construction training and support
- Community self-build involves local people in housing need building homes for themselves with external support and managing the process collectively.
Most community-led housing developments have the following features:
- Usually smaller scale – most are under 25 homes and some are much smaller
- Typically set up and run by local people in their communities, often with external support from housing associations, local authorities or other organisations
- Most provide affordable homes for rent, shared ownership or sale on sites that are often difficult for mainstream housing providers to develop
- Most meet long term, local housing needs, by retaining a legal and/or financial interest in the homes and ensuring they are always available to local people who need them
- Most community-led housing is not for profit and involves considerable voluntary enthusiasm and effort
- They can involve new build, regeneration or the use of existing buildings.
Canterbury City Council has been awarded funding via the Government’s Community Housing Fund to support communities to deliver new homes. They are doing this by providing training, information and support and helping Community Led Housing groups to access funding.
Basic steps for success:
- Form a community group
- Secure a site – find a suitable site, including investigating any potential problems and how much it will cost.
- Planning – Affordable Housing is subject to the same planning application process as any other housing scheme, aspects considered in the district/local housing need, housing mix, proposed tenure, section 106 agreement clause.
- Design and finance the scheme – tap into local expertise and access available grants and loans to finance your scheme.
- Build and manage the completed development – consider the longer term investment to manage and maintain the scheme to remain affordable.
Canterbury City Council are working in partnership with our neighbouring authorities Dover, Thanet and Folkestone and Hythe, and there are a number of FREE training courses available.
FINANCIAL SUPPORT TO GET GOING:
Once you have decided this is something you want to do please apply for a grant. The money is allocated as follows:
The CCC grant funding available will be in two stages.
Stage 1 is up to £3,000 per group and can be used for things like, posters, meetings, hall hire, advice, networking, applying to be a legal entity and generally any expenses incurred setting up the group.
Stage 2 is up to £10,000 per group, it can be used for things like site searches, planning permission, legal advice etc. The funding cannot be used to fund capital expenses (ie: physical things that retain value like land, bricks etc). Capital funding is available through loans, mortgages or grant funding from the Government etc, these options are usually something most groups research in the early stages of setting up.
For further information, if you are wishing to start a project or to discuss your ideas, strongly recommend that you contact:
Emma Bartlett, Regeneration Officer (Housing) on 01227 862112 or [email protected]