New £4M fund for community-led affordable homes

Communities will be given more opportunities to build new homes thanks to a new £4 million government fund.
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Communities will be given more opportunities to build new homes thanks to a new £4 million government fund.

The new grant programme, launched by Housing Minister Christopher Pincher, gives community-led housing groups better access to high quality, affordable housing that meets the needs of local communities. The money will help community groups meet a range of costs incurred in trying to develop housing. This could include paying for searches, administration costs or legal advice, design work and planning applications.

The community-led approach involves community-based groups taking responsibility for local housebuilding. It delivers housing that is affordable locally and remains under the control of the community through land trusts or housing co-operatives.

For example, the Granby Four Streets group have rebuilt their area in Toxteth, Liverpool by refurbishing derelict housing and producing homes for affordable rent, shared ownership and discounted market sale, to protect and sustain the area they care about.

Housing Minister Rt Hon Christopher Pincher MP said: “Community-led housing is about local people playing a leading and lasting role in solving their housing problems, creating genuinely affordable homes and strong communities where mainstream housebuilders are unable to deliver. The Community Housing Fund has been set up to support housing schemes that are truly community-led and will last for generations to come, helping ensure we build back better.”

The Community Housing Fund Revenue Programme 2021/22 is funded by MHCLG and will help community-led housing groups in the latter stages of pre-development. The Community Led Homes Partnership (CLH) will manage the grant programme, assessing all applications and administering the grants. CLH is a partnership of  four leading community-led housing organisations: Confederation of Co-operative Housing, Locality, National Community Land Trust Network and the UK Co-Housing Network.

Tom Chance from Community Led Homes added: “Community led housing groups are rooted in their communities and truly understand local housing needs. There are so many fantastic community led housing projects planned across the country. This programme will help many of these projects come to fruition.”

Applications will open on 23 August 2021 and will remain open until all funds are allocated or until 31 December 2021, whichever occurs first. The programme will close in March 2022 – all work funding by the grant must be completed by this date. To apply for the fund, groups will need to complete an eligibility checker on the Community Led Homes website.  If eligible, groups will be emailed an online grant application form.

Today’s announcement follows the publication of the Bacon Review which recommended that reigniting the Community Housing Fund will create more opportunities for communities to build.

 

Image: Derelict homes in Toxteth, Liverpool. Courtesy Rept0n1x/Creative Commons

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