The Government’s Community Housing Fund represents the largest injection of public sector financial support for community-led housing for several decades. When announced, it was widely regarded as a ‘game changer’ for the sector.
- The March 2016 budget made a commitment to provide £60 million a year for five years to support community-led housing in mainly rural communities
- Initial details of this programme, including individual allocations to 148 local authorities, were announced by the Government in late December 2016
- One third of the funding was to be specifically targeted at South West England, where community-led housing activity is particularly strong and on areas with particular pressure from second home-owners
- Further Ministerial announcements in November 2017 and July 2018 confirmed that a further two years of the CHF programme would go ahead, but with most of the funding being routed through Homes England on a competitive bid basis and no longer limited to areas with high levels of second homes
- Capital funding was made available through Homes England with revenue grants to enable groups to cover 90% of their pre-development costs
- Routing CHF capital funding through Homes England meant that community led schemes for affordable rent would necessitate the grant recipient being a Registered Provider. A separate pot of revenue funding was made available through Community Led Homes to help groups fund their registration
- Community led Homes was given a revenue pot to develop a national Enabling Hub network that supported community groups to bring forward projects
- Revenue funding was also made available through Community Led Homes to provide start-up funding for groups, support the national accreditation of CLH advisors and establish and support the running costs of Community Led Homes, the new national umbrella organisation for all forms of community led housing
At the time of writing (February 2020), bids for both the revenue and capital elements of the Community Housing Fund had closed and no announcement has been made by the Government about the continuation of the Fund beyond March 2020.
Last updated in March 2020