building site

The Government has launched a new £4m grant programme to give community-led groups “better access to high quality, affordable housing”.

The money will help community groups meet a range of costs incurred in trying to develop housing, including paying for searches, administration costs or legal advice, design work and planning applications.

It comes just after a review into self and custom build housing says overcoming barriers could see the sector build 30-40,000 new homes.

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.

Housing Minister, Christopher Pincher, 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 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
  • UK Cohousing 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.”

Tony Armstrong from Community Led Homes said: “It is well known that there is a shortage of genuinely affordable, high quality housing in England. We believe community led housing can, and should, play a central role in solving this problem. The CLH partnership is proud to be managing this programme on behalf of MHCLG.”