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Community-led housing

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

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

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

Community-led housing can take many different forms and legal structures, but 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.
  • The benefits of the scheme to the local area and/or specified community group are clearly defined, and legally protected in perpetuity.

If you are planning on undertaking a community-led housing project in your area, there are a number of funding sources available that could help you get the ball rolling.

  • Community-led Homes provide advice, guidance and funding for pre-development work, including project planning and feasibility studies.
  • Delivered through Homes England, the Community Housing Fund can provide both revenue (start-up grants and feasibility work) as well as capital (infrastructure, site servicing and development). 
  • Community Land Trusts can apply for a short-term loan through our Community Land Trust Revolving Loan Fund to finance the build stage of a Community-led Housing project.

Our Rural Toolkit includes everything you need to know when it comes to starting your own Community-led housing project.

Our Community-led Housing Toolkit provides detailed and technical guidance on aspects like legal structures, planning and finance.

Rural Housing Enabler

Our Rural Housing Enabler is responsible for raising the profile of community-led housing throughout Cornwall and supporting rural communities with the delivery of their own developments. This could involve helping to identify an area's housing need, unlocking potential sites and providing advice and information on how to approach funding and delivery.

To find out more about Community-led housing and how to set up a project in your area, contact our Affordable Housing team.