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East Riding unveils £2m for community-led housing

East Riding of Yorkshire council has announced it has more than £2m in central government funding to help support community-led housing.

The local authority has been allocated £2.04m from the Department of Communities and Local Government’s community housing fund and has pledged to make the money available to community groups to investigate the need for community-led housing schemes and draw up plans.

The council said funding may also be available to help towards the cost of buying land and building houses at a later stage.

East Riding’s portfolio for strategic asset management, housing and environment, Symon Fraser said: ‘This is a real opportunity for local communities to take control of house building in their area, ensuring that new development meets identified local needs now and in the future.’

The council has also produced its own community housing fund policy, which outlines the criteria for such projects.

The policy states for something to be ‘community-led’, the community must be ‘integrally involved’ throughout the process in key decisions about the project and any funding must be used to benefit the local area in a ‘clearly defined and legally protected way’.

It adds community housing will add to the area’s ‘existing housing supply and help meet specific local needs’.

‘Community housing will provide the right type of housing solutions to meet the needs of local communities,’ the report states.

Funding of up to £4,000 will be available per community to help develop projects to a constituted stage and undertake initial community consultation activity.

The funding can be used for activities such as fact-finding visits, training and administrative costs.

Between £5,000 and £40,000 will also be available per scheme to undertake a feasibility study and produce a project plan.

In this plan, communities would have to identify their proposed site, how they will secure match funding, what they intend to build and which members of their community will benefit from the scheme.

The money could be spent on initial assessments, planning advice and further community engagement.

And finally, grant funding will be provided to cover up to 35% of the total development cost of the scheme.

The council report states the funding can used for various purposes, including site surveys, legal costs and site clearance.

A further loan of up to 15% will also be available on the provision that the community’s project plan has demonstrated they have exhausted all other funding options.

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