New research carried out by the Community Land Trust Network reveals the strong levels of local authority support for community led housing development in England and Wales in the form of policies, grants and loans and land disposals and leases.
This data comes from responses to our Freedom of Information requests to all councils in England and Wales in November 2021 asking about whether they had implemented policies to support community led housing, whether they had provided grants, loans, leases or land disposals to forward community led housing projects and whether they had staff dedicated to supporting community led housing groups.
The research found:
- One in two councils who responded are actively supporting community led housing, with a slight rise in the number giving high levels of support
- The share of councils with policies supportive of community led housing more than doubled from 2019 to 2022, now up to more than 1 in 3 who responded.
- The percentage of councils who have awarded grants or loans to community led housing groups has more than doubled since 2019, now up to 2 in 3 who responded. The overall number of grants and loans councils awarded to community led housing groups has significantly increased since 2019, up from 259 to 946, a 265% increase.
- The percentage of councils who have disposed of or leased land to community led housing projects has grown massively since 2019, up from just 11% to 65% of councils who responded
The support of local authorities is essential for community led housing groups to access funding, planning permissions and land disposals to progress their projects. These results make it clear that local government support for the community led housing movement is gaining ground. This growth in support is thanks to the community led housing groups across England and Wales, including CLTs, who’ve built strong working relationships with their councils and raised the profile of community led housing as a viable route for delivering much-needed affordable housing.
The complete dataset, including each council’s response and score, can be viewed here.
In order for anyone, anywhere to be able to set up and run a CLT to manage community assets based on local need, the community led housing movement will need the support of every council in England and Wales.
We go to the polls on 5th May to elect local councillors across England and Wales. If you’re a CLH group who wants to lobby its council or if you’re a local authority who wants to better support CLH, see our campaign page on local authority support for community led housing for next steps.