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Community Led Housing

A community led housing scheme consists of quality, affordable homes to buy or rent. The homes are owned by your community – and you have a say in who lives in them.

Community led housing is all about meeting the housing needs of your community. Your community can build affordable homes for people who already live or work in your community or who have relatives living there.

Community led housing is a practical and rewarding alternative to developer led housing. With plenty of support and advice available locally and access to national funding streams, there has never been a better time to find out more about taking forward a scheme in your town or village.

What is community led housing?

• Homes built and owned by the community for the long term benefit of the community – whether that’s income from rents straight into the community purse or homes for sale kept at affordable prices in the long term.

• Run by a local, independent and not for profit organisation – often specially created for the purpose of building affordable homes.

• It can be building homes for rent or for sale, but whatever the housing mix, it is about keeping them affordable now and in the future.

• Ensuring key decisions on new homes are made by the community - from the most suitable site, through design, to who moves in.

• Democratic and accountable to the wider community.

You can download our general leaflet on community led housing for more information and about how to start you own. 

REACH Community Led Housing Hub for York, North Yorkshire & East Riding

A hub to help communities develop affordable homes has been launched to help communities develop and manage projects.

Communities often struggle to find housing for local people due to second home ownership, lower incomes and high house prices and this can lead to the loss of local facilities.  Communities are coming together to address these problems and the Hub provides information and advice in one place to help groups get started and to manage their projects.

An Advisors Panel provides groups with access to firms with expertise in community development, architecture, planning, surveying, law and accountancy to help them bring their plans to fruition. Those interested in signing up to the Advisors Panel complete a simple questionnaire that will help communities to decide who to appoint.  Advisers will be expected to have some knowledge of working with communities and/or housing projects and be suitably qualified and experienced.  Grants are available for them to pay for this support. The information can be accessed at

Cllr Richard Foster, Chair of the Yorkshire North, Yorkshire and East Riding Housing Board, said: “This new service will make the delivery of Community Led Housing much simpler by bringing everything together in one place and helping communities get started to bring much needed affordable housing to their local area.”

Community First Yorkshire 

Community First Yorkshire provide practical support and rural advocacy to voluntary and community organisations, parish councils and social enterprises through our networks, projects and services. Their aim is to help you achieve your goals and better support our communities. 

Furthermore, Community First Yorkshire have recently developed and published a useful documents called A Planners Guide to Communing Led Housing.

You can visit their website Community First Yorkshire for more information about Community Led Housing. 

Download our general leaflet on community led housing for more information. For further information, each community-led housing ‘model’ detailed above has its own national body.

Community Lead Housing Funding 

With funding from the Nationwide Foundation, North Star Housing Group and the UK CoHousing Network, the Rural Housing Enabler Network and Community First Yorkshire undertook research into the potential for community led housing in rural North and East Yorkshire in 2016.

The aim was to raise awareness of community led housing with communities, local authorities and Rural Housing Enablers and identify where this could be supported. The final report from this work can be accessed here.

In late 2016, the Government announced a new £60m Community Housing Fund to support communities affected by second home ownership. Our area received £6.2m of this in 2016/17. The breakdown of funding is:

East Riding of Yorkshire £2,042,864
Craven      £605,964
Hambleton   £195,277
Harrogate  £585,832
Richmondshire £493,730
Ryedale £431,322
Scarborough £1,860,672

The Local Authorities and the Housing Board have worked to identify opportunities to invest this funding. As part of this, they have used some of this to support REACH Community Housing, to provide support and technical expertise to groups wishing to develop new homes for their communities in North and East Yorkshire

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