Funding announced for affordable community led homes in England

Communities across England are set to benefit from a £6 million funding boost to help them build more of the homes that their area needs, it has been announced.

There will be a £6 million funding boost for affordable homes available to local groups as part of a tranche of new Government funding, including training and advice to help communities kick start local housing developments.

Making the announcement, Housing Minister Kit Malthouse said that the community led sector is expected to supply over 5,000 homes in the next five years.

The Community Led Homes Programme, managed by four leading housing charities, will provide local people with funding to kick start community led housing developments that will benefit their neighbourhood.

Funding of up to £10,000 will be provided to groups to cover start-up costs such as legal fees, and a further £3.5 million will be made available to provide technical advice and support to guide communities through the process of building the housing they urgently need.

‘For too long, Governments have failed to build the homes our country needs, but we are turning that around. Last year we delivered over 222,000 homes but we need to deliver more good quality properties, and the community led housing programme will help us do just that,’ Malthouse said.

He pointed out that alongside £6 million of funding, the programme will also provide crucial training and advice to local groups, ensuring that as well as better homes, better communities are being built.

According to head of Community Led Homes, Samantha Jones, communities want to play their part in tackling the country’s affordable housing crisis and many are forming community led housing groups to do so.

‘In the next five years the movement will build over 5,000 affordable homes. We’ve created the Community Led Homes programme to help this figure increase further still, and in time, for community led housing to become a mainstream housing option,’ she said.

‘Community led housing enables communities of all shapes and forms to take the lead in building and renovating homes, helping people to come together to solve their own housing challenges and build high quality, affordable homes,’ she explained.

‘The new programme will strengthen the vital role that community led housing can play in delivering much needed affordable housing, helping the sector to play its part in getting Britain building and delivering the homes our country needs,’ she added.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) is looking to commit £6 million over a two year period. The payment of the full allocation in 2019 to 2020 will depend on the full and appropriate defrayal of the £2 million allocation in 2018 to 2019.

This needs be in line with the project as defined in the funding agreement and the satisfactory delivery of the project against project targets.

Community Led Homes is run by the Confederation of Co-operative Housing, Locality, the National Community Land Trust Network and UK Cohousing with the aim of making it easier for communities to access support for building community led homes.

The National Federation of Builders (NFB) welcomed the announcement which it said will help to diversify the housing market. ‘The Government is listening to the industry and unlocking important funding for a range of developments. Encouraging community housing is a positive step towards tackling the housing crisis,’ said Richard Beresford, chief executive of the NFB.

Community housing is win, win because it unlocks local development and supports the regional construction supply chain, according to Rico Wojtulewicz, head of housing and planning policy for the House Builders Association (HBA).

‘After three years of repeating this message to every minister that would listen, it’s great to see the Government grab the housing supply opportunity that community housing offers,’ he said.