Communities fear the Government is turning its back on community-led housing

Hope for thousands of community-led homes is wavering as the Government goes silent on its promised housing fund.

Community-led housing is a growing movement of communities tackling housing issues in their local areas and building homes their communities need.

The £300million Community Housing Fund, announced in the 2016 Spring Budget, was expected to help transform the community housing sector and deliver nearly 13,000 genuinely affordable homes.

Welcomed by communities across the country, the national community-led housing sector bodies have been working with Government on how the Community Housing Fund will create a market for community-led housing, outlining four fundamental principles needed in the design of the Fund.

Now six months into what should be the second year of the Fund, the lack of news on the future of the Fund is causing local housing projects to stall and hopes to waver.

The sector is now appealing to Government to give the green light on plans.

Anna Kear, Executive Director of UK Cohousing, said:

“The Government created the Community Housing Fund because they recognised that the housing sector needed diversifying if it’s to meet the housing needs of this Country and the unique ability of community-led housing to win local support for new housing and bring forward land that would not otherwise be available for house building.

“We have put robust proposals to Government on the required design of the Fund. At the heart of the proposals are capital funding for projects and, most critically, pump-priming investment in a sustainable support system that gives communities the expert support they need to deliver homes and faster, including through Community-Led Housing Hubs. This will create a real market that will deliver long after this Fund comes to an end.”

Catherine Harrington, Director of the National Community Land Trust Network, said:

“The housing situation in this country is dire. We’re hearing how local people need to be more involved in housing decisions day after day, report after report.

“Community-led housing is giving power and housing control back to people and putting hope back into housing. We were delighted when the Government decided to invest in this growing movement through the Community Housing Fund. We’re now asking the Government to make good on their promise – and quickly.”

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