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Community-led housing comes in many different forms – no two schemes are the same, mainly because no two communities are quite the same. This section looks at three different ways that community-led schemes get going: new group; established community organisation and developer/community partnership.

New Group 

  • Groups may form in response to a local housing need
  • They can involve a group wishing to provide homes for themselves
  • They can be initiated by neighbourhood forums or parish councils
  • It can bring together valuable skills and local knowledge not previously tapped into in communities
  • Most new groups need ongoing external advice and support
  • They can create a strong sense of community and a measure of control over the development process and end product
  • They can take time to grow and produce housing on the ground
  • They can involve partnerships with a housing association or other developer

Established community organisation or community anchor

  • An existing community-led housing organisation can decide to develop more homes
  • Development trusts with no previous housing role can initiate a community-led housing project
  • Housing co-operatives, many of which are Registered Providers, can also initiate a community-led housing scheme
  • They can both make use of their existing assets to raise capital funding
  • They can use their in-house expertise to move schemes forward quickly
  • They can work closely with local authorities to secure support and meet strategic housing delivery targets

Developer/Community Partnership

They can involve a local authority, housing association, landowner or developer; they may initiate a CLH scheme themselves or respond to a request for help from a new or existing group to make it happen

  • They place an emphasis on a partnership approach to community-led housing
  • They are usually less challenging and risky for communities than new group-led schemes
  • Developers may raise all the funding
  • They can be quicker to develop than other approaches
  • They may be able to deliver larger schemes than other approaches
  • They can involve housing associations recruiting and training founder members of a community-led group and equipping them with the skills needed to manage the homes themselves on completion
  • They need developers to understand that working with communities in partnership means ceding some control of the CLH process and outcomes to their community partners
Last updated in April 2018