Government announce Community Housing Fund to continue

Minister for housing, James Brokenshire has confirmed that the Community Housing Fund will continue.

The £163m fund, which was launched in December 2016, has encountered delays caused by the snap election in 2017 and the change in leadership at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

In a change, Homes England will now manage and assess applications.

Homes England Chief Executive Nick Walkley said: ‘Community-led housing is about local people playing a leading role in solving local housing problems to provide affordable homes and strengthen communities in ways that aren’t always possible to achieve through mainstream housing.

‘At Homes England, we’re determined to increase the supply of homes across all tenures and increase capacity in the housing sector. This is a really important fund, which will offer lasting impact and we look forward to receiving bids from community groups across England.’

The funding will come in two phases: revenue grants to help community-led housing groups to fund planning stages and capital for infrastructure; followed by capital grants for the construction of affordable housing.

The news has been welcomed by the National CLT Network, which has campaigned for investment in the sector together with its members and partners for several years.

Tom Chance, Director at the National CLT Network, said: ‘The community-led housing sector has been on tenterhooks for some time now and I’m delighted that the Government has made good on its commitment to support communities up and down the country wanting to deliver affordable housing for themselves.

‘Community-led housing is a grassroots movement, built on community pride, compassion and a determination to sustain and strengthen local areas. Every community is different, and it’s the communities themselves that are best placed to understand and deliver the housing solutions that are needed.’

Projects which will help develop the national infrastructure for community-led housing will continue. These projects include a single website for community-led housing, a strengthened network of local enabling hubs and a small grant programme for CLTs.

Tom Chance added: ‘The Community Housing Fund will be transformational for the movement. Not only will the investment support many existing projects to get off the ground and get building it will create a legacy to inspire future generations of the movement to learn from too.’

Last month, New Start visited Granby 4 Streets in Liverpool, one of the success stories of the CLT movement. Read the report here.

Thomas Barrett
Senior journalist - NewStart Follow him on Twitter


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