Grants available for new housing co-operatives (and other community-led housing) in England

Ed Jones ed at
Thu Sep 6 13:21:17 BST 2018

See below from the Wrigley's website:

Read the full Community Housing Fund prospectus here, mentioned by 

 From the prospectus: "In addition to new build homes, the Fund will 
support activities which will lead to the conversion or refurbishment of 
existing buildings for housing where there is evidence of need for this 
form of development."

  Government announces next stage of Community Housing Fund

July 2018

The community-led housing sector received welcome news this July, the 
fund provides grant funding for community groups in early stage of 

There is a total of £163million available and there is no cap on what 
funding a group may receive.  However, the Fund will only be open to 
applications until the funding is fully committed, or until 31 December 
2019, whichever is earlier. Interested groups therefore need to start 
thinking about applying as soon as possible, as this does not leave very 
long for the money to be spent.

*What will the Community Housing Fund pay for?*

The recent announcement relates to Phase One of the funding programme 
only.  Phase One provides revenue funding, which is aimed at getting 
groups up and running with their community-led housing scheme.

The money can be spent on items such as capacity building, incorporation 
costs, feasibility studies, planning applications, project management, 
design work and business planning.

Funding provided under this Phase One cannot be used to acquire land or 
properties.  Later phases will provide capital funding for site 
acquisition and build costs.

Local authorities can also apply for revenue funding under Phase One to 
spend on 'associated infrastructure costs' for a development, such as 
access roads, roundabouts or services needed to open up a site.  They 
can also apply for funding to support community-led housing groups in 
their area, for example by employing staff.

*Who is the Community Housing Fund aimed at?*

The Community Housing Fund is open to community-led housing groups, 
including community land trusts, cohousing groups and housing cooperatives.

Groups must be, or intending to become, a body corporate in order to 
bid.  This would include charities, companies limited by guarantee, 
community benefit societies, cooperative societies and community 
interest companies.

As mentioned above, it is also open to local authorities.

*Does a group need to be a registered provider of social housing to be 
eligible for the grant?*

Groups do not need to be registered providers of social housing to be 
eligible for Phase One grant funding.

However, they will need to become registered to qualify for a capital 
grant under Phase Two (or under most other Homes England funding 
programmes), where they are planning to develop homes for below-market 
rent, of which they will be the landlord.

This does not mean that community-led housing groups will automatically 
need to become registered providers.  There are other options available, 
for example, partnering with existing housing associations where that 
housing association acts as the landlord of rental properties instead of 
the CLT.

Registration will also not be required if a community-led housing group 
is developing properties for other forms of home ownership, such as 
shared ownership or shared equity.  Groups should be aware that Homes 
England may ask about this during the grant application process, even 
for Phase 1 funding.

*How do I apply?*

The application process is open now.  Proposals must demonstrate that:

  * meaningful community engagement and consent will occur throughout
    the development process;
  * the local community group will own, manage or steward the home in a
    manner of their choosing; and
  * benefits to a local area or specified community will be clearly
    defined and legally protected in perpetuity.

Groups will need to ensure that they are properly constituted and 
managed, in order to fulfil these requirements.

It should take between six and eight weeks from submission of a bid to 
receive a decision.

Groups are strongly recommended to read the Community Housing Fund 
prospectus in detail before submitting an application. This is available 

It should be noted that the Community Housing Fund is only applicable to 
community-led housing groups in England.  Groups in Wales may be able to 
access the Welsh Government's Housing and Regeneration Funding 

Groups in London should also note that it will be the Greater London 
Authority, rather than Homes England, which handles the funding 
applications.  The London Hub <> 
will be able to advise further.

*More information*

The announcement of the Fund is very positive news for the sector, as it 
finally gives community-led housing groups the financial support they 
need to get going.  However, with less than two years for the funding to 
be spent, groups are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

The National Community Land Trust Network has issued a helpful briefing 
note on the Community Housing Fund.  This is available on their website 

If you have any questions about the Community Housing Fund, please 
contact any member of our community-led housing team, here 

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