Community-Led Housing Inspires London Assembly

Wednesday 05 July 2017


A panel of housing experts and leaders told the London Assembly’s Housing Committee about the unique contribution community-led housing can make to solving London’s housing crisis, at a committee meeting this morning.

Members of the London Assembly put questions to representatives of London CLT, Older Women’s Cohousing, Camley Street CLT, St Anne’s Redevelopment Trust and the National Community Land Trust Network. Together they represent a community-led housing movement that is attracting support across London, and proving its ability to deliver much-needed affordable housing.

Tom Copley AM, Nicky Gavron AM, Susan Hall AM, and David Kurten AM each described the community-led housing projects as “inspiring”, both for the affordable homes they’re delivering and the passion of their organisers.

Community-led approaches can win the public support for development that is needed to tackle London’s housing crisis. The housing groups impressed the Committee with how their community-rooted projects have been able to win local support for higher-density development than would otherwise have been possible.

However, the panel also called for more support to overcome the unique challenges faced by community-led housing in London, particularly its high land costs. They welcomed the Mayor of London’s creation of a £250,000 Community Housing Hub, set to launch later this month. But they also urged Sadiq Khan to go further, making sure that community-led housing is at the heart of both his Housing Strategy and the London Plan. In particular, releasing more land to community housing groups would enable them to deliver significantly more affordable housing.

Tom Chance, Head of Grants and Development at the National Community Land Trust Network, said:

“It’s very encouraging that so many Assembly Members were inspired by the community-led housing groups they heard from today, and share our excitement about the sector’s potential. Community-led approaches can win unmatched support for development, and deliver homes that are genuinely and permanently affordable.    

“Community-led housing needs more support in order to scale-up and make a dent in London’s housing crisis. The Mayor’s new Community Housing Hub will provide much-needed technical support and advice. But in London, high land costs are the single biggest obstacle facing groups. Sadiq Khan should make sure that the new Small Sites Initiative releases land for community-led housing.” 

To watch the recording of this housing committee discussion please click here.

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