The big launch: What to expect on the day

With less than one week until the launch of the Brighton and Hove Community-Led Housing Programme, we wanted to update you on the plans for the event.

The event will take place on Wednesday 21 February, 5.30-9.00pm (Registration from 5:15pm) in the Auditorium, Brighthelm Centre, North Road, Brighton, East Sussex BN1 1YD. Food will be provided at the start of the event.

The launch is currently fully booked but you can add yourself to the waiting list here at Eventbrite

5.30-6.00pm Food There will also be the opportunity to meet others interested in community-led housing.
6.00-7.00pm Introduction Andrea Jones, Brighton & Hove Community-Led Housing programme.
Who, what, where, why and how? A brief introduction to Brighton & Hove Community Land Trust (BHCLT) and its work on community-led housing.

Councillor Anne Meadows, Chair of the Housing & New Homes Committee, Labour & Co-operative Councillor for Moulsecoomb and Bevendean

Stephen Hill, Director – C2O futureplanners
The national picture for community-led housing and what is possible.

Stephen Hill is a key player in the development of Community-led Housing in the UK. He has worked over many years to create opportunities for social investment in cities and positive urban change and renewal. Through his research and his work with C20 Future Planners, The UK Cohousing Network and the National Community Land Trust network he has championed the cause creating opportunities for lower income households to get access to secure affordable housing in well-designed neighbourhoods. He has developed programmes for the training of local people and professionals to be ‘barefoot urban designers’ in large scale neighbourhood renewal programmes. He writes a regular blog at:

Martyn Holmes, Bunker Self-Build Housing Co-op
A local success story: A new self-build housing co-operative for low income families in Brighton & Hove.

Martyn is a founding member of Bunker Housing Co-operative, a Representative for CHIBAH (Co-operative Housing in Brighton & Hove) and helped to shape the Brighton and Hove Community-led Housing Programme. He first got involved with community-led housing as a solution to his own families housing needs and quickly became involved regionally and nationally. In 2017 he completed a MRes (masters) in Architecture at UEL focussing on the housing crisis and alternative solutions to it, has been working for three years on a self-build pilot scheme with the Estate Regeneration Team at Brighton and Hove City Council to self-build two three bedroomed family homes on a BHCC-owned disused garage site, which is about to start on site this Spring! He will be starting a PhD at University of East London in October 2018 on Building capacity within the community-led housing sector.

There will be an opportunity to ask questions of both Stephen and Martyn.

7.10-8.00pm Share your journey Wherever you are in your journey into Community-led Housing, join this session to ‘speed chat’ to people in other housing groups. Connect with others setting up community-led housing projects across the city and share your experiences. You may even find people to join forces with!
8.10-8.20pm What’s next? The Brighton & Hove Community-Led Housing Programme team will share their ideas of how to move forward.
8.20pm-9.00pm Time to chat Ask those last burning questions or meet other people interested in community-led housing

Find out more about the Community-Led Housing Programme, and what support is available here at our website.

Financial planning for community-led housing projects: Free workshop

Are you setting up a community-led housing project in Brighton & Hove? Do you need some help making the finances work?

We are holding a free financial planning workshop in Brighton on Saturday 24 February 11am-3pm. It will include an introduction to financial planning for community-led housing from Nathan Brown of Co-op Culture, experienced supporters of co-operative, community and social enterprise. Nathan will cover which tools to use, financial viability and different formats for financial plans, as well as answering questions.

The second part of the workshop will be an opportunity to work on your project’s financial plan with other members of your group. We will have local experts on hand to help, including someone who has set up their own community-led housing project and our land and property expert Nicola Thomas.

There are limited places for this workshop and it’s only open to groups who have a project outlined and are ready to sort out their finances. If you are interested in registering, please email to make sure it is the right thing for you.

There is more planned

We have more practical workshops planned, including a surgery with representatives of banks who lend to community-led housing projects.

Please let us know if you would like to be put on our mailing list and receive regular updates from BHCLT, including news on community-led housing and future workshops.

This workshop is part of the Brighton & Hove Community-Led Housing Programme, supported by Brighton & Hove City Council (BHCC). Find out more here, including how to apply for financial support.

Green architecture. How much does size matter?

Andrea Jones, from the Community-Led Housing Programme team, will be talking at this year’s Green Architecture Day on Saturday 10 March in Brighton.

Andrea will be talking about the new and exciting opportunities opening up for local groups to create their own affordable housing solutions in the city.

The theme of this year’s event, which is organised by Brighton Permaculture Trust and Low Carbon Trust, is ‘Sustainability at Scale: Size Matters’. A range of leading experts will be asked there is any use in our current climate of being a tiny beacon of sustainability, or should we be focusing on larger developments.

How this can be possible and where the architectural and design community is heading? How does this translate to a city like Brighton & Hove and what is being done here at home?

There will be a facilitated plenary panel at the end of the day where there will be the chance to ask questions in person, or by ballot. As well as a range of talks there will be stalls and stands and a complimentary light lunch.

Green Architecture Day takes place on Saturday 10 March, 10:30am to 5pm at the Sallis Benney Theatre, University of Brighton, Grand Parade Building, BN2 0JY.

Find out more at the Brighton Permaculture Trust website.

Want to know what we’re up to? Join us to launch the Community-Led Housing Programme

Find out more about how we can work together to create more affordable and community-led housing in Brighton and Hove.

Join us at the Brighthelm Centre on Wednesday 21 February for the launch of the Brighton and Hove Community-Led Housing Programme, supported by Brighton & Hove City Council (BHCC).

Reserve your place here at Eventbrite

Community-led housing is a way to create more genuinely affordable and secure homes, allowing local people to create alternatives that are community focused and take power back from the hands of developers, letting agencies and a housing market that many feel is out of control.

At the FREE launch event there will be the opportunity to:

  • Find out more about what community-led housing is and why it could be a good option for you.
  • Hear about exciting examples of community-led housing right here in Brighton and Hove.
  • Meet other people who want to start their own housing projects.
  • Find out more about Housing Ourselves: grants of £1,000 up to £50,000 available to housing groups.
  • Learn about how the Programme can connect you with experts, or how your expertise could be useful to a community-led housing group.
  • Ask us questions, including advice on Housing Ourselves grant applications.
  • Let us know what ideas you have for community-led housing in Brighton and Hove and what support you need to make them happen.

The event will take place on Wednesday 21 February, 5.30-9.00pm (Registration from 5:15pm) in the Auditorium, Brighthelm Centre, North Road, Brighton, East Sussex BN1 1YD. Food will be provided at the start of the event.

Reserve your place here at Eventbrite

Find out more about the Community-Led Housing Programme, and what support is available here at our website.

Financial support available for housing groups

As part of our work to more community-led housing to the city, we now have Housing Ourselves financial support available to groups working to get new projects off the ground.

Housing Ourselves grants and support is supported by Brighton & Hove City Council (BHCC) through the Community Housing Fund. The aim is to help local groups to develop their own community-led housing solutions. Grants are available from £1,000 up to £50,000, depending on how far your housing group has progressed (more details below and in the full guidelines for applicants). Grants and support is available to community-led housing groups at any stage of their journey, especially pre-construction or pre-purchase stages of housing projects. and are designed to help people:

  • Overcome the obstacles they currently face in getting their project off the ground.
  • Gain access to additional funds from other sources to buy, convert or build appropriate properties.
  • Develop their ideas into housing solutions which benefit themselves and others.

The Housing Ourselves programme can also offer free expert support to make community-led housing a reality – not just money. We aim to help groups to, for example, develop their group and their business case, find suitable land or property, and get them ready to secure a mortgage in order to fund the next phase of their project.

The programme can also offer support for free e.g. providing someone with particular expertise to help groups develop their plans; and help to match groups and available land or property.

Read more about Housing Ourselves and the application criteria here


Considering self-build? Join Starlings on a trip to Bristol

Starlings Housing Coop are looking for people to join them on a tour of Ashley Vale self-build community in Bristol on Saturday 3 February.

Ashley Vale is an exciting project consisting of 40 homes, alongside workspaces, community facilities and a traffic-calming ‘home zone’. It was initiated by local residents in 2000 and completed in 2010. It has won multiple awards for its design features and sustainability.

On the day there will be a four hour workshop, including a tour of The Yard plus a talk and discussion with Jackson Moulding of Ecomotive. This is a great inspiration opportunity for anyone thinking about a self-build community-led housing project, whether you are doing it with your own hands or contracting the work out.

More on Ashley Vale:

You will have the chance to learn about the history of the project and to look up close at the houses from the exterior, accompanied by a participant from the original project. There may be a chance to look inside one or more of the homes.

Starlings Housing Coop aims to create a small community of 24 genuinely affordable, sustainable homes in Brighton and Hove. A the centre will be a a community hub and the project will evolve according to the members’ needs.

Sign up to join Starlings on their trip here at Eventbrite.

Community Housing Fund

The Government has unveiled its £60 million per year Community Housing Fund for communities affected by second home ownership. The National CLT Network has been working closely with DCLG on the fund and was quoted in the Government press release warmly welcoming its arrival.

In the first year the money is going to local authorities, with the largest shares going to the South West, South East and the East of England. The National CLT Network is working with the BSHF and the community-led housing alliance to advise local authorities on how best to use the money.

More information can be found on the Government website.