UK Cohousing Network Newsletter April 2022

Dear Cohousing Community,

We were delighted to note cohousing schemes were amongst the local groups announced for Community Housing Fund (CHF) by government last month. Congratulations to Five River Cohousing in Sheffield and Somerset Cohousing Community Land Trust. We also celebrate Yorspace in York, with their fully mutual housing co-operative scheme and LGBTQ Foundation in Manchester, for their work to address housing needs of over 50s in their area. UKCN is particularly interested in projects combining cohousing, community land trust (CLT) and co-operative models.

As many of you may know, UK Cohousing Network is a co-founder of Community Led Homes which negotiated £4m of revenue funding in 2021 (the CHF) to support grassroots groups across England build homes in their local area. The fund covers a range of pre-development costs incurred in the process – such as renting the town hall for a public meeting, paying for searches, administration or legal advice, design work and planning applications.

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities announced that because of this fund, over 1,200 new affordable homes are supported across more than 50 schemes. Once planning permission is granted, community groups can fund the build through the Government’s Affordable Homes Programme, a Housing Association, developer or via a bank loan. The current fund will help level up the country by regenerating derelict areas and delivering homes that are affordable for local people– so more residents can live in the places they love.

The future of the CH Fund in the 2022-25 cycle of Treasury budgeting is uncertain. We ask all cohousing groups—established and forming—to contact their MPs and ask them to support and reinstate the Community Housing Fund. We will do a full piece on this for the May newsletter.

Community Interest Company: UKCN’s board is delighted to report in the General Meeting on 14 March 2022, members present gave approval to amend our application wording to align with requirements of becoming a Community Interest Company (CIC). The move does not fundamentally change UKCN, however it does help us ensure we are accountable for the social impact and benefits of our work each year.

Also this month: our UKCN Newsletter contact passes to a new membership & marketing role filled by Prana Simon. She’s an accredited CLH Advisor located in South Devon, who’s available to contact on 07773797647 and for contributions on social media and here for monthly project updates.

Best wishes,

Owen Jarvis

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