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Community-led housing

Community-led housing


What is community-led housing?

A community-led housing scheme aims to put the local community at the heart of home building, which includes finding land, contributing to the design on the housing units, building new homes or bringing old unused homes back into use. Once created, these homes are owned by the community and legally protected so that they will always be kept in perpetuity.

There is a variety of community led housing types, which include:

Community-led housing is also an alternative option to exception site schemes. A housing need survey can help to identify a local need for villagers and pinpoint who would be interested in applying for a community-led housing scheme.

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Why is community-led housing important?an active community on a street of affordable housing

Community-led housing brings more affordable homes to local communities in South Cambridgeshire, which is one of the most expenses places to live in the UK. This approach is a very bottom-up approach which allows the community to lead in the development and be involved from the inception stage to the build-out stage. This process allows members of the community who knows the area and know the residents to input into the overall design.

Community-led housing keeps affordable homes within the local community. These homes can also be designed to suit the individual tenants needs. Some examples could be designing an environmentally friendly, carbon-neutral design or homes built for residents who need wheelchair accessible homes. In addition, post covid there are opportunities to look in to how homes should be built and look at how local communities want to develop their spaces for future generations.

Homes developed in this way tend to lead to stronger communities as community-led housing helps to diversify the local area as residents who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford to rent or buy can stay in the local area.

Community-led housing may be an option for some neighbourhood plans, where the community decides what and where new housing should be built. The neighbourhood plan can also include policies around affordability and stipulate a local connection criteria to ensure local homes for local people to keep this type of affordable housing in perpetuity. Furthermore, specific sites can be identified in the neighbourhood plan for community-led development which can help the process.

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How to get started

team reviewing papersThe Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority works with community led housing groups, Local Authorities, developers, Eastern Community Homes and other stakeholders to support community led housing.



If you would like to find out more information about the community-led housing please visit the CLT East Website or contact Emily Mulvaney (077 6699 1145)

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FundingA man and a woman operating an oversized calculator

There are many funding sources that can help with set up and planning costs, such as planning and design. Explore your options for funding; who have you got in your group? What income do you have readily available? What budget is available now, for building, and once the scheme is completed?

Further sources of funding can include:

  • National CLT Fund
  • Local authority funding, including the Community Housing Fund
  • Parish / Town Councils
  • Community supporters

There are also a wide range of funding streams for development. These are:

  • Ethical Banks (such as Triodos Bank)
  • Local authority funding, including the Community Housing Fund
  • Planning gain
  • Homes and Communities Agency
  • By the local community through share issues, bonds or fundraising projects

Technical support for developments throughout the process includes:

  • Architects
  • Legal advisors
  • Surveyors
  • Ethical lenders
  • Planners
  • Consultants
  • Accredited community-led advisors

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Contact Details