The Community Housing Fund Revenue Programme is financed by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) and will help community-led housing groups in the latter stages of pre-development.
The money will help them meet a range of costs incurred in trying to develop housing, including paying for searches, administration costs or legal advice, design work, and planning applications.
The approach involves community-based groups taking responsibility for local housebuilding and aims to deliver locally affordable homes which will remain under the control of the community through land trusts or housing co-operatives.
The Community Led Homes Partnership (CLH) — comprised of the Confederation of Co-operative Housing, Locality, National Community Land Trust Network, and UK Cohousing Network — will manage the grant programme, assessing all applications and administering the grants.
Applications opened on 23rd August and will remain until all funds are allocated or until 31st December — whichever occurs first.
The programme will close in March 2022, and all work funding by the grant must be completed by this date.
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To apply for the fund, groups will need to complete an eligibility checker on the Community Led Homes website — if eligible, groups will be emailed an online grant application form.
“Community-led housing is about local people playing a leading and lasting role in solving their housing problems, creating genuinely affordable homes and strong communities where mainstream housebuilders are unable to deliver,” said Pincher.
“The Community Housing Fund has been set up to support housing schemes that are truly community-led and will last for generations to come, helping ensure we build back better.”
Tom Chance, executive director at National Community Land Trust Network, added: “Community-led housing groups are rooted in their communities and truly understand local housing needs.
“There are so many fantastic community-led housing projects planned across the country; this programme will help many of these projects come to fruition.”
Tony Armstrong, chief executive at Locality, commented: “It is well known that there is a shortage of genuinely affordable, high quality housing in England.
“We believe community-led housing can, and should, play a central role in solving this problem.
“The CLH partnership is proud to be managing this programme on behalf of MHCLG.”