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Community-Led Housing

Community-led housing is about giving local people a leading role in addressing the need for affordable housing in their area. Local communities are coming together to plan, design and often manage their own developments. With the aim of creating affordable homes for the people that need them the most.

There are several ways that community-led housing projects can happen:

  • Homes can be developed or owned by a community land trust
  • Affordable self-build
  • Partnerships between the community and a housing partner. This includes a registered provider, local authority or other body.
  • Housing cooperatives

How does Community-led housing work?

Community-led housing can take many different forms and legal structures. The common principles are:

  • Projects are led and managed by the community. This means that local people play a key role in deciding what housing will be provided, where and for whom.
  • The community takes a leading role in the ownership or management of the homes.

Funding for community-led housing projects

If you are planning on undertaking a community-led housing project in your area there is funding available. The funding sources available that could help you get the ball rolling include:

  • Community-Led Housing - Early Stage Feasibility Fund. This is a new fund administered by Cornwall Council.  It provides revenue funding which will help communities to bring forward more affordable housing. Costs will cover items such as initial start-up costs, designs, surveys and feasibility work.  All the way up to getting your planning application submitted.
  • CLT Land Remediation Fund supports the development of new community-led affordable housing. The £1m fund was set up to tackle expensive-to-develop sites that communities want to see turned into affordable housing.
  • Community Land Trust Revolving Loan Fund can provide a short-term loan for Community Land Trusts. This can help finance the build stage of a Community-led housing project.
  • Capital Housing Grant provides a capital grant for community-led housing organisations. The total funding available is £700k.

You can contact the Affordable Housing Team to find out more information about the Community-led Housing grants.

Resources for Community-led Housing

Everything you need to know when it comes to starting your own Community-led housing project is included in the following guide:

Affordable Housing Enabling Guide

Our Community-led Housing Toolkit provides detailed and technical guidance to help you. This includes guidance on legal structures, planning and finance.

Community-led Homes  provide advice, guidance and funding for pre-development work. This includes project planning and feasibility studies.

Community Land Trust Network are a leading movement working for a community land trust in every community that wants one. The network mainstream the community ownership of affordable housing and land in public policy and market practice. 

UK Cohousing Network is a membership organisation.  It's mission is to enable communities to use the cohousing principles to create better places to live.  This is done by reducing isolation and loneliness, and by sharing facilities and services reduce living costs. Their primary focus is to find ways to make cohousing more accessible. They also help to shape the policy and public funding environment to achieve this goal. 

Rural Housing Enabler

The role of the Rural Housing Enabler is to raise the profile of community-led housing throughout Cornwall. The Enabler supports rural communities with the delivery of their own developments. This could involve helping to identify an area’s housing need and unlocking potential sites. You will receive advice and information on how to approach funding and delivery.


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