We have published new independent research on delivering the pipeline of community led housing in England.
The research was commissioned by the Community Land Trust Network in partnership with Community Led Homes, and funded by the Nationwide Foundation and Power to Change.
Written by Dr Tom Archer and Catherine Harrington, the research explores the huge opportunity for funders to help communities build out and renovate over 12,000 homes across England over the coming years. By analysing data provided by Community Led Homes and our network of enabler hubs, and interviewing funders and combined authorities, they identify the following funding needs.
active projects across England
homes in the pipeline
£m revenue funding required
£bn capital funding required
The research was launched at a roundtable of key stakeholders that finance community led housing. Christopher Pincher MP, the Housing Minister, opened the meeting.
I think that community led housing has an important, indeed you might say, unique contribution to make to meeting our housing need. It brings forward land which is oftentimes out of reach of mainstream developers, and helps build community cohesion. It delivers really good examples of great quality, sometimes award winning design, modern methods of construction, environmental performance, construction quality, the list goes on. And that is why I think, in short, community led housing projects, align very closely with many of MHCLG’s ambitions
One of the key findings is that the banks, social investors, grant makers and combined authorities are more likely to invest in this pipeline if the Government renews the Community Housing Fund. The fund creates confidence and gets projects to the stage where they are investable propositions.
These figures will feed into the submissions we make to the Government in its forthcoming Spending Review, including a detailed proposal for the Community Housing Fund, part of our campaign for its renewal.
The researchers also identify the challenges for CLTs and other community led housing groups to access the finance they require. This will be all the more pressing if the Community Housing Fund is not renewed.
As well as campaigning for the fund, the researchers recommend that we – and enabler hubs – redouble our efforts to work in partnership with others on more viable and replicable delivery approaches. By helping CLTs to partner with housing associations, developers and councils, the researchers suggest we can drive efficiences and future sustainability. As a small charity championing CLTs, we have to weigh up the benefits of this, set against the effort it takes to secure specialist funding like the Community Housing Fund. Not all communities want to adopt these partnership approaches, so we will be discussing this recommendation with our members over the coming year.
We’ve been working with the community-led housing sector for over a decade, and in that time, we’ve seen the huge difference that projects can make to communities. We welcomed the £4m for the Community Housing Fund announced last year, however, it’s now time for sustained, long-term funding, so that this pipeline can be unlocked. Only then will the homes currently stuck in the system be built, in places they’re needed, at prices people can truly afford.
The Secretary of State’s ministry says its purpose is to give more power to local people to shape what happens in their area. As four of our members showed him, there can be no more powerful way than to give local people ownership of their land. Over the last decade we have established CLTs as a growing niche, and in the next ten years the Government could mainstream this approach in the way affordable homes and new settlements are built.
You can watch a recording of the event below.