The National Community Land Trust Network and UK Cohousing welcomed more than 500 delegates to the first-ever National Community-Led Housing Conference on Monday 27 November.
At the biggest event the sector has ever seen, attendees ranged from community-led housing groups, local authorities, housing associations, architects to individuals dipping their toes into the world of community-led housing.
They came together to celebrate the movement, attend practical sessions to aid the work they are doing, and to share their views on how the community-led housing movement can now scale up and go mainstream.
And while it’s customary for an event to end on a high (which it certainly did, thanks to the London International Gospel Choir), the conference started with a huge bang too.
There was much anticipation when news came that the Minister of State for Housing and Planning, Alok Sharma MP, would open this inaugural event. And he didn’t disappoint, as it was announced that the Community Housing Fund, amounting to a further £240million over four years, will be relaunched from January 2018.
You can read more on the announcement here. More updates on the details of the Fund will be released once they are confirmed.
Many delegates took to Twitter to share their experiences of the day, a selection of the posts can be seen below:
Catherine Harrington, Director at the National CLT Network, said:
"It was fantastic to welcome so many people to the first-ever National Community-Led Housing Conference. Its popularity demonstrates the mounting interest in community-led housing and there was such a buzz and energy on the day. As David Ireland said during one of the plenaries, it feels like the sector has now come of age.
“The announcement of the continuation of the Community Housing Fund and commitment to £240m investment in the sector is a major win for the National CLT Network and UK Cohousing and, most importantly, for all our members who lobbied their MPs to secure a decision on the Fund.
“We were particularly heartened and encouraged by the support from delegates for our shared vision with UK Cohousing for the future of the movement and are looking forwards to now working with all our members on what happens next for the sector. We look forward to seeing you all again soon!”
We'll be creating an online gallery with all the images from the event, but here are few that capture the brilliant vibe from the day: