Local authorities and housing associations involved in partnering with, funding and supporting CLH projects will want to be satisfied that the delivery vehicle is fit for purpose and sustainable, with sound governance arrangements.
This section is about the specific support and advice that a community led housing organisation may require when it reaches the stage of business planning and/or setting up a legal entity and how that support might be delivered.
For more general and basic community capacity building support, see Section 2.2 of the Toolkit.
Sources of support
There is a wide range of sources available for business planning and governance support for CLH groups. They include:
- National, regional or local agencies which specialise in support for CLH. For more details see Section 1.16 of the Toolkit
- Agencies which specialise in support for the community and voluntary sector. For more details about these agencies see Section 2.2 of the Toolkit
- Agencies which support business development in general – particularly those specialising in providing support for third sector and community business development. (Some university business schools may offer such services – sometimes at low or nil cost.)
- Professional consultancies, planning advisors, accountants, lawyers etc with relevant skills
Support from local authorities and housing associations
A local authority or housing association may also have in-house capacity to provide support to CLH groups. The advantages of this are that it may offer opportunities for developing contact and partnership with the groups. The disadvantage is the potential person time and costs involved.
- It may be wise to offer this an option rather than a requirement of support for CLH development
- It may be possible to work in partnership with one of the agencies mentioned above when delivering support to community groups
Funding for professional support
Some of the agencies mentioned above may also have access to funding and /or come as part of a package of support via a funding programme. Such support may be branded ‘social investment’,’ organisational growth’ or similar. For further details of revenue funding sources see Section 5.1 of the Toolkit.
The Confederation of Co-operative Housing (CCH) has produced a comprehensive Governance and Management Guidance for Co-operative and Community Led Housing organisations.