For strategic partners

Help to effectively enable community led housing. For a variety of potential strategic partners such as local and combined authorities, town and parish councils, local enterprise partnerships or land owners.

You might want to help create the conditions for more community led housing schemes to come forward by improving access to the people, land and finance that they need. Or you might want to enable a specific project. Either way, our training and consultancy services can help you work out how best to do this through your policy, practice, assets and other resources.

Why get involved in community led housing?

Community led housing can play an important role in diversifying and increasing the supply of quality, affordable homes, as well as building vibrant and resilient communities and helping to support sustainable local economies. Given the right enabling conditions, it can be part of the antidote to our housing crisis.Community led housing is a way to help meet your strategic objectives, create thriving neighbourhoods and great places to live.We’ve highlighted a few of the benefits of community led housing here.

Recent research by Capital Economics, based on the Green Book Framework, showed that that community led housing delivers significant economic, social and environmental benefits which equate to medium to high value for money for public funding. Over a ten-year horizon each £1 of public support delivers £1.80 of benefit, rising to £2.70 when health and benefit savings, wellbeing and income distribution are factored in.

If this kind of impact resonates with you, then you might see a role for your organisation to enable community led housing. There are plenty of things that strategic partners can help with. We like to think about this in terms of 3 key ingredients needed to make community led housing happen:

People

  • Community engagement, ideas and activism
  • Advise and professional services
  • Strategic and development partners

Land

  • Land (green or brownfield)
  • New developments
  • Empty homes
  • Other existing buildings

Finance

  • Pre-development revenue funding to plan and progress projects
  • Capital funding and finance for building or refurbishment

There are some great examples across the country strategic partners enabling community led housing by helping to improve access to the people, land and finance required. To name a few:

  • Birmingham City Council now has a dedicated Community Led Housing policy setting out its support in principle and different ways in which it may enable it.
  • Bristol City Council have a progressive Community Led Housing Land Disposal Policysetting out a framework for the disposal of Council-owned sites to community led housing organisations and associations of individual self-builders.
  • Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authoritynegotiated a grant fund for community led housing as part of their housing deal, as well as providing enabling officer support for projects.
  • Local authorities using Public Works Loan Board lending to finance community led housing include Leeds City Council financing Chapeltown Cohousingand Hull City Council investing in the Goodwin Development Trust.
  • The Faith in Affordable Housing project, operating principally in Wales, works with churches to release surplus land or buildings for affordable housing.

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. There’ll be plenty of other ways to take action and learn from practice elsewhere, beyond the ideas included above.

How we can help

Policy development Supporting the development of policy to enable community led housing across housing, planning, asset management and finance
Staff training Training for staff about what community led housing is and how they can enable it
Awareness raising Raising awareness of community led housing in the City/Borough, resulting in new schemes coming forward
Networking and events Building a network of interested stakeholders in your area, facilitating sharing of knowledge and learning about community led housing
Facilitating partnerships Brokering and facilitating partnerships between community groups/ organisations and land owners or development partners
Community Building Service Enabling support for land owner, local or Combined Authority initiated schemes – from concept development through community building and governance, to planning and financing a scheme.

 

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. ​
  • 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.