National Community-Led Housing Conference programme

With many thanks to our Headline Sponsor: Ecology Building Society

Community-led housing is on the rise and is gaining momentum. More and more people are seeing it as a vital and credible solution to the housing crisis and, following the Government’s commitment to investing £300m in community housing and wider interest from funders, lenders and councils alike, the sector is now set to expand.

The 27 November 2017 marked the biggest get-together of the community-led housing sector to have ever taken place! Bringing together more than 300 people involved in community-led housing from across the country, this is absolutely a time to celebrate, but also an opportunity to consider the sector's future seriously, and for us all to be part of the discussion on where it's heading.

DATE: Monday 27 November
LOCATION: Congress Centre, 28 Great Russell Street, London, WC1B 3LN

The conference explored how to move the sector to the mainstream and will offer a range of practical sessions for community-led housing groups.

The programme, below, contains links to presentation slides where these were used by speakers. 

9.00am-10.00am Registration and mingling. Visit to the marketplace (exhibition hall) and 'ideas board'

Welcome and Keynote

Sophie Long, BBC News Correspondent and Presenter - Event host

Alok Sharma MP, Minister for Housing and Planning

Tom Heap, 
Countryfile presenter and BBC Rural Affairs Correspondent

Paul Ellis, Chief Executive, Ecology Building Society

10.45am-11.00am Comfort break


Plenary 1:
Championing community-led housing

The pioneering work of councils, city regions and devolved governments, and how others can follow suit. Launch of film of Older Women's Cohousing (OWCH). 


  • Baroness Bakewell of Hardington Mandeville MBE 
  • David Palmer, Cooperative Housing Project Manager, Welsh Cooperative Centre
  • James Palmer, Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough
  • Lisa Taylor, Chief Executive, Future of London (Chair)
  • Sharon Taylor OBE, Leader of Stevenage Council
  • Tony Newman, Leader of Croydon Council

Workshop 1:
Early money, money, money

Options for early finance including grants, loans, crowdfunding and community share issues.


  • Amir Rizwan, CAF Venturesome - presentation
  • Jason Nuttall, Funding Manager, Crowdfunder - presentation
  • Dave Boyle, Community Shares Company
  • Bill Bewley, Keswick CLT


Workshop 2
Going it alone or partnering

Balancing risk and control, find out the best procurement route for you including partnering with a developer or a housing association.


  • Neil Murphy, TOWN - presentation
  • Jan Chadwick, Director, Cambridge Cohousing
  • Louise Lote, Development Project Manager, Yarlington Housing Group
  • Keith Jenkins, Chair, Lyme Regis CLT

Workshop 3:
Good governance

Stewarding and ongoing management of the homes.


  • Blase Lambert, CEO, Confederation of Co-operative Housing
  • Laura Moss, Solicitor, Wrigleys
  • Maria Brenton, Older Women's Cohousing (OWCH), Barnet
  • Fiona Mullins, Director, Animate Cohousing
12.00am-13.30pm Lunch.
London Hub networking session and enabler networking session. Visit to the marketplace and 'ideas board'.


Plenary 2:
A people powered revolution

Putting the community in housing; why this movement is so special.


  • Jamie Audsley, Councillor, Croydon Council 
  • Constantino Christou, Advocacy Academy Graduate
  • Kate Konig, Sturts Community Trust
  • Elizabeth Spring, Kensington Community-led Housing Forum 
  • Jonny Butcher, ACORN Sheffield (invited)

Workshop 1:
Bankrolling the build

Options for development finance; innovative practice from out in the field.



Workshop 2
X marks the spot

Finding and buying a site or building; self-build registers, other tools and at-risk finance.


Workshop 3:
All for one, and one for all

Making effective decisions in groups and with the wider community in a participatory and democratic way.


  • Perry Walker, Rhizome training co-operative and Mandorla Cohousing
  • Kareem Dayes, Chair, RUSS CLT
14.30pm-15.00pm Tea and coffee break


Plenary 3:
Scaling up, not selling out

Where next for community-led housing? How can we scale up but remain true to our roots?


  • Chris Brown, Executive Chair, igloo (Chair)
  • Sian Berry, London Assembly Member
  • David Ireland, Chief Executive, World Habitat
  • Stephen Hill, Chair of UK Cohousing and board member of National CLT Network
  • Catherine Harrington, Director, National CLT Network
  • Anna Kear, Director, UK Cohousing

Workshop 1
Doing more together

Practical workshop for councils on how you can engage with and support community-led housing.


  • David Alcock, Anthony Collins Solicitors (Sponsor) - presentation
  • Jo Lavis, Vice Chair, National CLT Network
  • Jon Fitzmaurice, Cooperative Council's Innovation Network (CCIN) Commission on Community-led Housing - presentation
  • Mario Wolf, Director, Right to Build Taskforce - presentation
  • Barry Malki, Head of Communities, HACT on their CLH Toolkit for councils and housing associations


Workshop 2
Living the eco dream

Building new or making good - why not go eco?


  • Jon Lee, Ecology Building Society 
  • Ronan Leyden, Bioregional - presentation
  • Andy Edwards, Transition by Design
  • Nicola Lang, Transition Homes (Totnes)

Workshop 3:
Telling tales

Telling your story and inspiring the next generation


  • Beth Boorman, Communications and Policy Manager, National CLT Network 
  • Dan Carrier, Journalist, Camden New Journal
  • Lesley Scordellis, Cannock Mill Cohousing - presentation
4.00-4.15pm Comfort break
4.15-4.30pm Closing address - film