Government urged to act on CLT fund with 3,500 affordable homes at risk

3,500 community led homes are at risk unless the Government extends the £163m Community Housing Fund, according to the National CLT Network.

The Fund is due to close in December 2019 just 17 months after opening.

The National CLT Network submitted a Freedom of Information request to Homes England which revealed that 56 different community groups have plans to build 3,546 homes using the Fund, most of which will be affordable housing.

However, many of these volunteer-led schemes may never see the light of day because the Fund, which opened for bidding in July 2018, is set to close before construction costs can be covered.

The Network says community groups are feeling that they’ve been ‘led up the garden path,’ regarding funding.

The Mayor of London has set a target of 1,000 community led homes in the capital by 2021 and earlier this month the Greater London Authority launched its own £38m Community Housing Fund. This fund will be open for bids until March 2023, which the CLT Network says gives community-led housing groups much more time to complete their housing developments.

The National CLT Network is calling on the Government to extend the Fund outside London in the Spending Review and has received cross-party support from Conservative, Labour, Lib Dem and Green MPs, including Oliver Letwin.

Tom Chance, Director of the National CLT Network, said: ‘Through the Community Housing Fund the Government is helping communities to create plans for thousands of affordable homes. It would be a terrible waste to scupper them by closing the fund after only 17 months.

‘The uncertainty around Brexit is having a knock-on effect on domestic issues. The Government says it is committed to fixing the broken housing market but this will only happen if the programmes put in place to provide solutions are given time to make their mark.’

‘To make sure these homes don’t remain on the drawing board and for community led housing to become a self-sustaining sector with a lasting legacy, the Government must extend the Fund past 2020 and ideally for the duration of the next spending review.’

Thomas Barrett
Senior journalist - NewStart Follow him on Twitter


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