For private developers

Making it easy for private developers to partner with community led housing groups and organisations.
If you would like to initiate or develop a CLH scheme, we can help you to find a community partner and to facilitate successful partnership working, or to build a new community group from scratch to take on a stewardship role within your scheme. Our Community Building service will help you to build communities, not just homes.

Why get involved in community led housing?

There are a variety of reasons why private developers get involved, which are often dependent on the context. Get in touchto talk to us about what might be in it for your company. For starters, here are a few reasons that might be relevant for you:

  1. Ethicsand impact for companies that want to develop in a socially responsible way – leaving strong social, economic and environmental legacies. We outline someof the benefits of community led housing here.
  2. Partnershipand reputation building with communities, local & national government. Working with communities is great for your brand.
  3. De-risking your scheme from the outset:
    • A ready made community for pre-sales and pre-lets
    • Shared equity where community organisations can bring or raise their own financial resources
    • Community support for planning applications
    • Access to land – potentially deferring payments or negating some costs

There are plenty of examples of private developers getting involved in community led housing and partnership models can take all sorts of shapes and sizes. Check out:

  • Bright Green Futures in Bristol– as a values led eco-developer, they create housing schemes designed as an intentional community, developing water tight shells for self-finish on plots for sale to private individuals.
  • Bradwell CLT in the Peak District– where Camstead built 12 houses to be given to a Community Land Trust at no cost as the S106 contribution, as required by the Neighbourhood Plan.
  • TheClimate Innovation District in Leeds– where CITU is developing this scheme in partnership with Leeds Community Homes, who will develop community within the overall scheme and establish a CIC to own the freehold of 16 affordable rented and discounted equity flats across the development.
  • Marmalade Lane– Cambridge’s first cohousing community, a sustainable neighbourhood of 42 state-of-the-art homes with community facilities and shared gardens.

Please get in touchif you would like to learn more and we would be happy to talk in more detail about what might be possible.

How we can help

Different projects and partners will have different needs, but broadly our Community Building service can help with:

Concept development Visioning for your CLH project, starting with your ideas and objectives. Developing a brief and a plan.
Community recruitment Community engagement to identify and work with founder members of the community group.
Community building Working with residents and any wider members of the community group before and after occupancy, to enable them to influence design and living as they choose, within the scope of the project. Delivering training and capacity building to enable them to do this.
Community governance Supporting community groups to formalise their governance structures, develop constitutions and incorporate. Ensuring that they are set up and managed for success and sustainability.
Planning Help in ensuring local community support for a CLH scheme and negotiating and securing planning permission for CLH elements of new developments (e.g. section 106), if you need it.
Legal structure and agreements Help to prepare and negotiate partnership agreements, leases and management agreements between CLH organisations and partners.
Lettings and nominations Developing agreements with local authorities and practical steps to balance housing need with other needs identified by local residents and communities, facilitating cooperation in Local Lettings Plans.
Partnership facilitation Acting as an intermediary and translator between the community and the developer partner, to help them effectively work together. This can include assistance at project team and decision making meetings, supporting all partners to input into the development of briefs and plans.
Training Training and development for partners to increase team awareness of what CLH means, the benefits for the homes and communities they are building and what it means for your company. Building culture, understanding of and increasing skills in working with communities over the long term.


Why work with us?

  • We are a specialist community led housing support organisation. Bringing more community led housing schemes forward is our reason for being and we want to work with others who share our values.
  • Our advisers are trained through a nationally accredited programme for community led housing advisers. They straddle communities and housing in terms of their background and experience – they can be a talk both languages, be a translator, help to de-risk the process of working together, navigate tensions between community governance, design and deliverability. ​
  • We are well connected and work collaboratively with a range of stakeholders across the region, so we can help to build support for your policy or scheme.
  • We are independent, so we can really listen to your needs and work freely to find the best solution for you.
  • We are part of a national network of hubs like us, with access to ideas, experiences and insights from across the country.
  • Ultimately, we are building a community of practice where like-minded organisations can come together and learn from one another. So by working with us you’ll be part of something bigger too. We encourage everyone who shares our values and would like to see a new wave of community led housing in the West Midlands to become a member of wMUCH.