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What is community-led housing?


There are several types of community-led housing providing for people in housing need.

Community land trusts 

Land is acquired and held as a community asset in perpetuity to provide rental or shared ownership properties for local people in housing need.

Housing co-operatives

Groups of people who provide and collectively manage affordable homes for themselves as tenants or shared owners, members are voted into the co-operative.


Groups of people who provide self-contained private homes for themselves, but manage their scheme together and share activities, often in a communal space.

Tenant management organisations

Social housing tenants are given collective responsibility for managing and maintaining their homes through an agreement with their council or housing association landlord.

Self-help housing 

Small community-based organisations bringing empty properties back into use, often without mainstream funding, and with a strong emphasis on construction skills training and support.

Community self-build 

Groups of people building homes for themselves with external support and managing the process collectively.

Community development trusts (Community anchors) 

Independent, often well-established community-led organisations operating in a local area. They are focused on a range of economic, social and environmental issues; some are now involved in community-led housing provision.

How do we know there is a need?

Affordable homes, that allow people to live and work in their communities, are much needed as evidenced by the data held by the Council and the housing need surveys carried out by our existing community housing organisations.

What about profits?

A community-led housing organisation is a not-for-profit organisation; any surplus is recycled back into the organisation, to be used for new projects.

What is the purpose of community-led housing?

Community-led housing has been created to achieve:

  • stronger neighbourhoods, shared spaces, mutual support - becoming increasingly popular for older people, reducing their reliance on public services including social care
  • permanent affordability and local control of assets - genuinely affordable housing in perpetuity, exempt from Right to Buy, designed to remain affordable despite the widening gap between local house prices and local incomes
  • building neighbourhoods - group self-build and collective custom build supports households to work together to develop their own homes, supporting each other through the process and building strong neighbourhoods and local skills
  • greater local accountability and control over housing management - empowering local residents to control and manage their homes, leading to improved efficiencies and financial savings, offers opportunities to invest in wider social beneficial activities
  • tackling empty properties - revitalising neighbourhoods, feed into homelessness strategy by offering opportunities to provide work experience and training to people from vulnerable backgrounds in safe and supportive environments, creating their own homes

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