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Community Led Housing

What is Community Led Housing?Completed community led housing at HudswellCompleted community led housing at Hudswell

An alliance of organisations have developed the following definition of community led housing:

  • the community must be integrally involved in the process and in key decisions (what, where, for who). They don’t necessarily have to initiate and manage the development or build the homes themselves, though some may do so
  • a presumption in favour of community groups that take a long-term, formal role in ownership, management or stewardship of the homes
  • the benefits to the local area and/or specified community are clearly defined and legally protected in perpetuity

Download our general leaflet on Community Led Housing.

Community-led housing comes in many different forms. There are no standard models, but it can include:

  • Community Land Trusts provide affordable homes for local people in need by acquiring land and holding it as a community asset in perpetuity
  • Housing Co-operatives involve groups of people who provide and collectively manage affordable homes for themselves as tenants or shared owners
  • Co-housing schemes involve like-minded people who come together to provide self-contained, private homes for themselves, but manage their scheme together and share activities, often in a communal space
  • Tenant Management Organisations provide social housing tenants with collective responsibility for managing and maintaining their homes through an agreement with a council or housing association
  • Self-help housing projects involve small, community-based organisations bringing empty properties back into use, often without mainstream funding, with a strong emphasis on construction training and support
  • Community self-build involves local people in housing need building homes for themselves with external support and managing the process collectively.

Most community-led housing developments have the following features:

  • Usually smaller scale – most are under 25 homes and some are much smaller
  • Typically set up and run by local people in their communities, often with external support from housing associations, local authorities or other organisations
  • Most provide affordable homes for rent, shared ownership or sale on sites that are often difficult for mainstream housing providers to develop
  • Most meet long term, local housing needs, by retaining a legal and/or financial interest in the homes and ensuring they are always available to local people who need them
  • Most community-led housing is not for profit and involves considerable voluntary effort

See some case studies here: Keswick and Crosby Ravensworth

Community Led Housing in York, North Yorkshire & East Riding

With funding in 2016 from the Nationwide Foundation, North Star Housing Association and the UK CoHousing Network, the Housing Partnership and Community First Yorkshire undertook research into the potential for Community Led Housing in the rural North Yorkshire and East Riding. The aim was to raise awareness of community led housing with communities, Local Authorities and Rural Housing Enablers and to identify where community led housing could be supported. The report produced as part of the 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 funding in 2016/17. The breakdown of funding between the Local Authorities 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 are now working together and with community groups to identify opportunities to invest this funding and they will use some of the funding to develop a Community Led Housing 'Hub' to provide support and technical expertise to groups wishing to develop new homes for their communities in North and East Yorkshire. The Hub is due to launch in Spring 2018.

Sod cutting at HudswellSod cutting at Hudswell

Hudswell Community Land Trust in Richmondshire District was the first recipient of the Community Housing Fund. Villagers in Hudswell – already famous for its award winning community pub – came together to build three houses for local people who cannot afford to buy or rent on the open market. Hudswell Community Charity raised £80,000 towards the scheme – to add to a £250,000 loan from Charity Bank and a £40,000 grant from Richmondshire District Council.

“We know that many people who have strong local connections cannot afford to buy a home in Hudswell,” said Don Farrar, Chair of Hudswell Community Charity. So we are building affordable rented housing ourselves - for people to stay, or move back to the village.”

Richmondshire District Council Corporate Director, Callum McKeon, added: “The District Council is delighted to be able to support the Community Led Housing project in Hudswell as the first of its kind in North Yorkshire and we hope that the great work that they have been doing inspires other community groups to bring forward additional projects...” For more information, download this leaflet

Plans for the the Community Housing Fund in the area are under development and information will be shared on this page as it is available. If you have any questions, please contact sarah.hall@hambleton.gov.uk

For further information, each community-led housing ‘model’ detailed above has its own national body that promotes and supports the sector:

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