A new £4m Community Housing Fund has been launched to increase community led affordable housing. This extension of the Community Housing Fund will continue to give CLTs and other community-led housing groups better access to high quality, affordable housing that meets the needs of local communities.
The extended fund comes after the Community Land Trust Network, our Community Led Housing Partners, individual schemes and CLTs and our other partners persuaded the Government of the need to make sure that there is funding to support the many community led housing schemes which can prove their deliverability and are at the later stages of pre-development.
Launched by Housing Minister Christopher Pincher MP, the fund will help community groups meet a range of costs incurred in trying to develop housing. This could include paying for searches, administration costs or legal advice, design work and planning applications.
Housing Minister Rt Hon Christopher Pincher MP said when launching the fund “community-led housing is about local people playing a leading and lasting role in solving their housing problems, creating genuinely affordable homes and strong communities where mainstream housebuilders are unable to deliver. The Community Housing Fund has been set up to support housing schemes that are truly community-led and will last for generations to come, helping ensure we build back better.”
The Community Led Homes Partnership will manage the grant programme. Tom Chance, Community Land Trust Network Chief Executive feels that this extension is an essential step in supporting so many CLT and community led housing schemes. “Community led housing groups are rooted in their communities and truly understand local housing needs. There are so many fantastic projects planned across the country. This programme will help many of these projects come to fruition.” Tony Armstrong from Community Led Homes adds that “it’s well known that there is a shortage of genuinely affordable, high quality housing in England. We believe community led housing can, and should, play a central role in solving this problem. The CLH partnership is proud to be managing this programme on behalf of MHCLG.”
Tom Chance added however that the campaign to get the fund renewed in the 2021 Comprehensive Spending Review remains ongoing. “This extension is very welcome news. But we know there are potentially 23,000 homes in the pipeline and without further Community Housing Fund most will not happen. So our campaign calling for the fund to be renewed for a further 4 years continues.”
The Community Housing Fund Revenue Programme 2021 to 2022 is funded by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and will help community-led housing groups in the latter stages of pre-development. Applications will open on 23 August 2021 and will remain open until all funds are allocated or until 31 December 2021, whichever occurs first. The programme will close in March 2022 – all work funding by the grant must be completed by this date.
To apply for the fund, groups will need to complete an eligibility checker on the Community Led Homes website. If eligible, groups will be emailed an online grant application form.
The announcement of the fund follows the publication of the Bacon Review which recommended that reigniting the Community Housing Fund will create more opportunities for communities to build.