As you know, just before Christmas the Government unveiled the £60 million annual Community Housing Fund.
We’ve been working with Government on how the Fund should be designed in future years and have submitted a proposal to Government. We’ve submitted this in partnership with the National CLT Network and the Confederation of Cooperative Housing. It is also endorsed by Building and Social Housing Foundation (BSHF), who are behind the community-led housing alliance. We’d now like to ask if you can write to your MP in support of the proposal – please see below.
What we’re proposing for the remaining 4 years of the Fund
The thrust of the proposal is that the Government invest in the growing the sector with a coherent programme, building on the groundwork laid in year 1.
It will give all community-led housing organisations access to revenue and capital funding, and would develop a strong network of local enablers able to provide hands-on support to groups from the earliest stage through to getting homes built on site. The proposal would also create a one-stop-shop for community-led housing nationally, bringing together all the confusing information spread across multiple websites into a great resource that we think you’d really value.
We don’t think the Government should continue to give the money to the 148 local authorities: this would leave a lot of the country uncovered and, even in many of the 148 areas, it would leave an incoherent approach that wouldn’t be sustained once the fund ends.
We also don’t think the Government should tender for an organisation to set up an entirely new programme. This would create a new layer of bureaucracy, create a risk that another non-sector body would have to reinvent everything we’re already doing, and probably close down when the fund ends.
Write to your MP in support of the proposal
We’ve sent our proposal to the Housing Minister, Gavin Barwell, and his officials in DCLG.
But we know that we’re much more powerful when joined by the voices of our members, especially when you can get your local MP to take up the cohousing cause.
It would be fantastic if you could download this template letter and send it to your MP. It’s best if you can send a paper copy to your MP at the House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA. You can also email them using Write to Them, though it will make less of an impression.
Please then let us know who you have contacted your MP.
If you have any questions about this please do not hesitate to give us a call.