Community-led housing can provide a real solution to unaffordable housing and dodgy landlords, as well as an innovative way to tackle deprivation. Goldthorpe Big Local is one of the precursors in the field, and through the purchase of six houses, they have provided training opportunities for local people and six homes that will be rented at affordable price.
Because the core principle of community-led housing is that the level of rent aims at covering costs, and not generate profit, that makes it a sustainable model for most deprived households to access fair and good quality housing.
It is extremely encouraging that Locality has set up the Early Stage Support programme, which is funded by the Nationwide Foundation. It will be interesting to see whether the scale of grants and support is enough to create a real movement of community-led housing.
Another issue is whether individual community-led housing initiatives can make a dent in the current housing crisis, given the extent of the issue. Finally, community housing seems like an appropriate solution in the regions where the value of housing is low, but can community housing be a solution in London and the South East where initial investment has to be high? Watch this space...
"Communities know what kind of housing is needed in their neighbourhoods and can be best placed to provide quality, affordable homes for the people in their area. All they need is a little help to get started and this programme will help them achieve their vision and, we hope, inspire other groups to take up the challenge too.”