The government recognises that the community-led housing sector – of which community land trusts are an important part – offers significant potential for helping to meet housing need across England. In addition to helping increase the rate of delivery of new housing, it will help deliver a range of benefits including diversifying the house building sector, improving design and construction quality, developing modern methods of construction, and sustaining local communities and local economies. The support and close involvement of the local community enables the community-led approach to secure planning permission and deliver housing that could not be brought forward through speculative development.
The principal way in which the government supports the community-led housing sector is through the Community Housing Fund. The fund is administered in England (outside London) by Homes England and, within London, by the Greater London Authority. Capital and revenue grants are available to appropriately constituted community-based groups to help them develop house building projects.
£6 million has also been made available to Community Led Homes – a consortium of the leading community-led housing stakeholder organisations – to help develop the sector. Through Community Led Homes, revenue grants are available to groups wishing to establish themselves as community land trusts or any other legal form appropriate for taking forward a community-led housing project
The Community Housing Fund aims to support an increase in housing supply in England by increasing the number of additional homes delivered by the community-led housing sector; to provide housing that is affordable at local income levels and remains so in perpetuity; and to deliver a lasting legacy for the sector in the form of an effective and financially self-sustaining body of expertise within the house building industry in England.