Tag Archives: Community Housing Fund

Community Housing Fund open for capital funding bids

Phase Two of the Community Housing Fund is now open to eligible organisations and groups to bid for capital grants to fund the costs of acquiring land and building community-led housing schemes. The £163 million fund is available for community-led groups who want to realise their affordable housing ambitions across England up to 31 March 2020.

This funding is best for groups who are in the later stages of planning and ready to purchase land or housing.

Phase One of the fund launched in July 2018 and supports applications for capacity building and pre-development revenue funding. The format to apply to Phase Two is almost the same as for Phase One.

Organisations which intend to be the landlord of low-cost rental properties funded by Phase Two of the Community Housing Fund must be – or intend to become – registered as a provider of social housing (a ‘registered provider’) with the Social Housing Regulator.

Brighton & Hove Community Land Trust is part of ongoing conversations across the city about who is best placed to be a registered provider and the most efficient and effective way to make sure we bring as much funding for community-led housing into the city as possible. We are also waiting for guidance from Homes England on this issue and others related to the Fund.

Sign up to our mailing list or watch this space for updates.

Find out more about the Community Housing Fund, including relevant documents and application guidance

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Join the call to extend the Community Housing Fund

The National Community Land Trust Network is calling on its members and supporters to campaign for the multi-million Community Housing Fund to be extended beyond 2019/20.

The campaign is for the Fund to be extended so that it can support community-led housing groups and the delivery of truly affordable homes in the way it was intended.

Bids for funding currently need to be in by December 2019. This tight deadline means mean fewer groups than anticipated will benefit from the Fund, jeopardising the number of homes that could be built or brought back into use.

The campaign asks:

  • Extend the Community Housing Fund beyond 2020.
  • Introduce a proportionate system of reistration for Registered Providers intending to provide fewer than 100 homes.
  • Ensure community led housing groups aren’t thwarted by the Right to Buy and leasehold reforms.

Continue reading

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What does the new Community Housing Fund mean for the support we offer?

The Government announced a new multimillion pound Community Housing Fund in July this year.

The Fund will be managed by Homes England and will come in two phases: phase one opened on 7 July and will help groups to ‘capacity build’ i.e. cover costs during the planning stages and the second phase will be capital grants to pay for the purchase and refurbishment of homes or the construction costs for new homes.

This means that groups of people who want to set up their own community-led housing projects can now apply to Homes England for the kind of capacity-building and pre-development work that BHCLT has been supporting through our Housing Ourselves grants.

In the light of this opportunity, we have paused the grants offered by our local Community-Led Housing Programme until we see the outcome of local groups’ applications to Homes England. We have decided that this makes sense for BHCLT because the Community Housing Fund is nationally available funding and the more groups that apply from Brighton & Hove, the more investment into community-led housing we have the chance of bringing into the city. If we use our small and finite local pot for the same applications, the support in the city will be short-lived: grants and the advice and support we are able to offer through our staff team would end in Autumn 2018. Our goal is to maximise the support available for community-led housing in the city for as long as possible for all groups (present and future).

We have produced an analysis of the prospectus summarising what local people can apply for and distilling the criteria they will need to meet. It is not that different to the expectations we have of applications to our grant fund: projects need to be ‘community-led’ and be formed as a legitimate community organisation (or on the way to being one), have outline business plans/cases, and financial plans and clarity about what you aim to do and who will live in the homes.

You can apply for very small sums (for example, to incorporate) or much larger sums, if you have a viable financial plan & have secured a viable interest in a property or site. If you need it, members of our team can support you to apply to this fund and we will be running some face to face advice sessions to provide support.

To find out more or get some support with your application to the Community Housing Fund contact our Programme Manager Andrea Jones in the first instance on admin[at]bhclt.org.uk.

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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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Golden opportunity for the development of affordable housing as Government opens multimillion fund

Wednesday 4 July 2018

“Now is the time for communities wanting to work together to build more permanently affordable housing in their local area,” says Brighton & Hove Community-Land Trust (BHCLT) in response to new multimillion Government fund.

The Community Housing Fund will provide local people with the financial backing to make their community-led housing projects a reality. Community-led housing approaches include Community Land Trusts (CLTs), self-build, cohousing and housing co-ops, all developed and run by local people working together. These projects bring more affordable housing to the city.

Community-led housing is not new to Brighton & Hove, which is home to around 20 housing co-operatives. Older examples include self-build projects Diggers (1998) and Hedgehog (2000), as well as Two Piers Housing Co-operative (1978), a registered provider which houses around 70 people across Brighton & Hove.

Through the previous round of the Community Housing 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 is a fully mutual housing co-operative and has been working on developing a model that can be rolled out over several “infill” sites across the city. They are building using an off site modular system of CLT (Cross Laminated Timber) panels to form the super insulated structure and the project is set to be a great example of what affordable, self-build community-led housing can be.

Bunker was started by two families, who met through their children. Like many of Brighton’s residents with 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 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 is another group working with BHCLT and aiming 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 are planning a neighbourhood of nine small, low cost 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.

Other projects include a student housing co-operative called SEASALT, a cohousing project for women over 50 years old, a project incorporating adults with learning disabilities and a group setting up a housing project for people with mental health issues.

BHCLT is hoping that this recent round of the Community Housing Fund can help make more projects like these a reality in Brighton & Hove. 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. More information on the fund can be found here: www.gov.uk/government/collections/community-housing-fund

Peter Clarke, BHCLT Director said: “We’ve been waiting for this news for a while, so we’re excited to see the Government making a commitment to support people wanting to lead their own affordable housing projects.

“We are hoping this Fund will be a boost to community-led housing in Brighton & Hove, a city where we desperately need more affordable housing.”

Tom Chance, Director at the National CLT Network said: “This is the biggest investment the community led housing sector has seen in the last 30 years. I’m delighted that Government has recognised the role communities can play in delivering much-needed affordable housing. When it comes to our vision of community led housing becoming a mainstream housing option, this is a significant boost.”

People who would like support to start their own community-led housing project should contact Brighton & Hove Community Land Trust (BHCLT) on admin[at]bhclt.org.uk or find out more at: https://bhclt.org.uk/

End –

For more information, including to arrange an interview with someone from BHCLT or a local community-led housing group, contact Amy Hall, Communications Officer with BHCLT on comms[at]bhclt.org.uk

Notes to editors:

  1. Brighton & Hove Community Land Trust (BHCLT) is a non-profit community-led organisation working to put housing development back in the hands of people who need it. Find out more at: https://bhclt.org.uk/
  2. The full prospectus for the Community Housing Fund can be found here: gov.uk/government/publications/community-housing-fund-prospectus
  3. Community-led housing is a broad movement where people are involved in meeting their own housing wants and needs. Approaches include Community Land Trusts (CLTs), self-build, cohousing, and co-operative housing.
  4. BHCLT has been leading the Brighton & Hove Community-Led Housing Programme in partnership with Co-operative Housing in Brighton & Hove (CHIBAH) and Mutual Aid in Sussex (MAIS).
  5. The National CLT Network is the Charity for Community Land Trusts (CLTs) in England and Wales and supports and promotes the work of CLTs, representing 240 CLTs in England and Wales. CLTs are local organisations set up and run by ordinary people to develop and manage homes that are genuinely affordable for now and in perpetuity. CLTs have developed over 820 homes, with more than 5,000 in the pipeline up to 2021. More information can be found at: communitylandtrusts.org.uk
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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.

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