Tag Archives: self-build

Community-Led Housing Programme launch video

If you missed the launch of our Community-Led Housing Programme on Wednesday 21 February, you can now watch all the speakers here.

The panel consisted of: Andrea Jones, Programme Manager; Councillor Anne Meadows, Chair of the Housing & New Homes Committee and a Labour & Co-operative representative for Moulsecoomb and Bevendean; Stephen Hill, Director at C2O futureplanners and a key player in community-led housing nationally; and Martyn Holmes of Brighton’s Bunker Self-Build Housing Co-op

Watch the video of the presentations below. The slides are available to download underneath.


Download Andrea Jones’ presentation
Download Stephen Hill’s presentation
Download Martyn Holmes’ presentation

We spoke to a few of the 200 people at the event about why they were there and what made them excited about community-led housing:


Read our report from the launch event here.
Find out more about the Brighton & Hove Community-Led Housing Programme here.

BHCLT is working with Co-operative Housing in Brighton & Hove (CHIBAH) and Mutual Aid In Sussex (MAIS) to deliver the Community-Led Housing Programme.

Videos by Tim Andrews.

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Thinking about a mortgage? Sign up for our lending surgery

Representatives from four organisations which lend to community-led housing will be in Brighton to give groups advice.

Many community-led housing groups will need to apply for a mortgage, in order to finance their project. There are several lenders who specialise in this area and we are offering groups in Brighton & Hove the chance to speak to them and ask questions.

Both sessions run from 3.00pm until 6.00pm and you will need to contact admin@bhclt.org.uk to sign your group up for a slot during that time. Surgeries are available on a first come, first served basis so sign up quick!

These are the lender representatives who will be available:
Monday 5 March: Jon Lee, Ecology Building Society and Carolyn Sims, Charity Bank
Monday 19 March: Mark Ogden, Triodos and Sonya Powe, Unity Trust bank

Both sessions will take place at Brighton Junction, Isetta Square, 35 New England Street, BN1 4GQ

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Brighton & Hove shows it’s ready for more community-led housing

Brighton’s Brighthelm Centre was filled with around 200 people on Wednesday 21 February for the launch of the Brighton & Hove Community-Led Housing Programme.

With support from Brighton & Hove City Council (BHCC), Brighton & Hove Community Land Trust (BHCLT) is supporting local people who want to start their own community-led housing projects, including co-operatives, cohousing and self-build.

Community-led housing allows local people to take control of their housing and create alternatives to the limited choices offered by the current housing market. The new Brighton & Hove Community-Led Housing Programme supports groups of people to come together and organise, or build, their own affordable homes. Applications are open for financial support and free advice to help make people’s ideas a reality.

BHCLT Community-led Housing Programme includes:

  • Housing Ourselves: Financial support through loans or grants to housing groups.
  • Discovering suitable land and properties and helping groups acquire them for housing projects.
  • Connecting local people who want to start their own housing projects and providing them with expertise and support.
  • Raising awareness and building knowledge about housing with local people, the council and others who work in housing.

The event included the opportunity for people involved in community-led housing groups to share their experiences and learn from each other.

Speaking at the event, Councillor Anne Meadows, Chair of the Housing & New Homes Committee and a Labour & Co-operative representative for Moulsecoomb and Bevendean, paid tribute to city’s history of community-led housing: ‘In some respects I feel it’s national thinking that has caught up with Brighton & Hove,’ she said. ‘We have had an innovative and active community-led housing sector for many, many years and the provision of this funding through the DCLG has brought about the creation of this programme, through which we hope that more of the aspirations of this sector can be realised and more housing provided.’

Also speaking at the event was Stephen Hill, Director at C2O futureplanners and a key player in community-led housing nationally. ‘Communities are spending huge amounts of their time trying to put together housing projects that nobody else will,’ he said. ‘The fact that people like you are here today is some kind of witness to the fact that policy and the market has failed so many people.’

The audience also hear directly from someone involved in a local success story, Martyn Holmes of Bunker Self-Build Housing Co-op. He told the story of Bunker’s beginnings – two neighbours chatting over the garden fence, both living in private rented housing that they were struggling to afford and fed up with their housing situation. Along with their families, they are soon to start work on two modular houses in Brighton, making use of a small and difficult site that a big developer wouldn’t be attracted to.

For Bunker, part of the reason for choosing a self-build project was the money they would save. Martyn explained that group self-build schemes can result in cost savings of up to 40% or more.

Community-led housing is good for Brighton & Hove because:

  • It provides additional affordable and stable housing to those in need.
  • It creates and demonstrates alternative ways of living which have a positive impact on wellbeing.
  • It helps local people develop new skills as they make their projects a reality.
  • It encourages collaboration and co-operative between local people and involves them in decisions about new housing.
  • People have more say in how their homes are developed and managed.
  • It creates an opportunity to make use of empty buildings and vacant land, revitalising communities.

BHCLT is working with Co-operative Housing in Brighton & Hove (CHIBAH) and Mutual Aid In Sussex (MAIS) to deliver the Community-Led Housing Programme.

For more information contact Amy Hall and Ed Jones, Communications Officers with BHCLT on comms@bhclt.org.uk

Notes for 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. It is one of over 225 Community Land Trusts (CLTs) in England and Wales. Find out more at: https://bhclt.org.uk/
  2. A national Community Housing Fund of £60 million has been shared between almost 150 councils to help tackle the problem of high levels of second home ownership in their communities. Brighton & Hove City Council (BHCC) was allocated £464,500 and the fund was in turn, awarded to BHCLT, which is acting as the lead partner in this programme of work, alongside CHIBAH and MAIS.
  3. Community Land Trusts have developed over 700 permanently affordable units and will have developed a further 3,000 by 2020. Find out more at the National CLT Network website: http://www.communitylandtrusts.org.uk/
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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: Stephenhillfutureplanning.blogspot.co.uk

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.

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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 admin@bhclt.org.uk 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.

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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.

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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.

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