The Community Housing Fund presents a crucial opportunity for CLTs. You can apply to the £163 million fund for capital and revenue funding to get your CLT off the ground. Many CLTs have been ready and waiting for a chance like this.
But there’s a problem. It was originally a five-year fund, but delays have meant the Fund will only be open to bids for 18 months. A turn around time like this would be tricky for seasoned housing developers never mind CLTs, which are mostly powered by volunteers. This isn’t taking into consideration the quite lengthy process to register as a social housing provider, which is a requirement in the capital funding application process.
That’s the reason we’ve been asking for the Government to extend it beyond 2020. In September we reached out to folks across the community led housing sector to contact their MP to raise awareness of the importance of the Fund and why it must be extended and the results are promising.
We’ve heard your letters are having a big impact, with the Housing Minister now broadly sympathetic. Our Chair, Cathy Bakewell, has also had responses from the Minister and from Elizabeth Truss, Chief Secretary to the Treasury. They have both made clear they understand our position and are considering it as part of the Spending Review, which concludes next year. Friendly MPs have been lobbying on that since the summer. We’ve also had other organisations supporting our position including the Greater London Authority, a group of banks and funders, and charities like Shelter and Create Streets.
There are two things that we can do to ensure that the fund will get extended.
Get your applications into the Community Housing Fund
The more evidence of the potential impact the Fund will have, the easier it is to make the case for its extension. There has been a high volume of apps to the fund so let’s keep it up. Contact your local enabling hub, who will help you with your application.
Contact your local MP
We’ve been asking groups across England and Wales to contact their MP. If you’ve already done this you could ask them to raise it again, and this time with the Chancellor in connection with the Spending Review. You can download the template email to send to your MP and the template for the MP to send to Government here.
When you have contacted your MP please let me know and keep me updated with any responses. This helps us with our campaigning: firstname.lastname@example.org