Community led housing and retail mortgage lending: building the partnership

Tuesday 16 October 2018

The National CLT Network and CDS Co-operatives welcomed representatives from across the mortgage industry to a special event in Parliament to launch a new report examining the current retail mortgage finance environment for community led housing.

Launched on Monday 15 October, the panel included keen community led housing supporter Richard Bacon MP, former Nationwide strategist and co-author of the report Andrew Baddeley-Chappell and Ecology Building Society’s Jon Lee.

Together with CDS Co-operatives we commissioned the research to get a better understanding of the types of home ownership schemes lenders will support and how best to engage with the industry to raise awareness of community led housing.

The availability of retail mortgage finance together with an increased number of lenders and mortgage products to choose from will play a crucial role in whether the sector can grow substantially.

The project was carried out by a team with professional experience of the mortgage lending industry. With many thanks to Andrew Baddeley Chappell, Andrew Heywood and Peter Williams who conducted and compiled the research.

Read the full report here

For lenders: an introduction to community led housing

An exclusive guide for community led housing groups can be found in our members’ area

Tom Chance, Director at the National CLT Network said:

“The community led housing has got political backing and access to significant funding through the Community Housing Fund. But now we need to see the mortgage industry get on board.

“The movement is creating affordable homes of real community value. It’s ambitious, with its sights set on becoming a mainstream housing option. More lenders and better mortgage choices will help make this mission a reality.”

What have we learnt from the report?

While there are a small number of lenders supportingcommunity led housing development, the report concludes that most are unaware of the existence of the sector and therefore lack any understanding of its values and goals.

And some of the lenders who were spoken to during the research expressed concern over the broad range of home ownership approaches involved in community led housing and the variations continuing to be developed.

The positives

The sector’s commitment to expansion is welcomed. Coupled with Government’s desire to see diversification within the housing market and in turn its financial investment through the Community Housing Fund, there are real opportunities for the community led housing sector.

Attention should be focused on smaller lenders, including building societies, that have social purpose written into their constitutions. This would certainly reflect the current situations and lenders who are already supporting the movement.

Areas for action

The researchers have suggested two key areas of action:

  • The sector should refine and rationalise the homeownership models used with the aim of making them more lender-friendly and easier to communicate.
  • Awareness of community led housing needs to be raised with lenders as well as efforts to build partnerships with lenders to mutually gain positive publicity and to promote corporate social responsibility.

The full report includes further recommendations including important information for groups on Protected Area status and Discounted Market Value.

Read the full report here

For lenders: an introduction to community led housing

Members of the National CLT Network can read our special guide for community led housing groups (located in our members’ area)


If you have any questions about our report, please contact us at

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