Government launches Community Housing Fund

Described as, “the best opportunity to develop the co-operative and community-led housing sector since the 1980s,” by the Confederation of Co-operative Housing, the Government has launched a new multimillion Community Housing Fund.

The Fund will be managed by Homes England and will come in two phases: phase one will help groups to cover costs during the planning stages and capital will be available for more established projects to pay for infrastructure, such as new roads; and the second phase will be capital grants to pay for the construction costs for new homes.

Through the previous round of the Fund, supported by Brighton & Hove City Council (BHCC), BHCLT has supported 17 new community-led housing groups over the past eight months. These include:

  • Bunker Housing Co-op: A self-build group due to start building their first two homes this month. Each three-bedroom house is approximately 100 sq meters and due to cost around £175,000 each to build. They will then be rented to members of the co-operative for £800 a month per home. Bunker was started by two families who, like many of Brighton’s residents, had no access to either home ownership nor social housing. Their choices were limited to private renting and they lived in damp, insecure and unaffordable accommodation while they faced the growing possibility

    Lilliput are at the early stages of their journey

    of being priced out of the city altogether. Together they created Bunker with the aim of enabling low-income, self-employed people like themselves to take back control of their housing situation and to build their own beautifully designed, secure and permanently affordable housing.

  • Sussex Cohousing: This group aims to develop a cohousing project in or near Brighton. Their vision is a community of 15-35 households (each with their own front door), collaboratively managed by the residents and working on a mixed tenure model, including renting and ownership. They are currently exploring different sites in the local area, on which they will be able to build.
  • Lilliput housing co-operative who are planning a neighbourhood of nine small, low cost

    Members of S.E.A.S.A.L.T Housing Co-operative

    homes for those most in need of secure, genuinely affordable housing in Brighton & Hove. It would run as a co-operative with its members as both tenant and landlord. They have been making great progress on the project over the past few months and are in the process of obtaining land and finances.

  • S.E.A.S.A.L.T Housing Co-operative (South East Students Autonomously Living Together). Set up by a group of Sussex University students to create affordable, high quality, fit for purpose housing specifically to meet the needs of students.

BHCLT is hoping that this recent round of the Community Housing Fund can help make more projects like these a reality in Brighton & Hove.

Fancy starting your own community-led housing project? Get in touch on admin[at]bhclt.org.uk or find out more here.

More information on the Community Housing Fund can be found here

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