Leeds, Preston and South Ribble Loan and Grants

Commuted Sums Loans

  • Leeds City Council has provided Canopy Housing, a CLH organisation in the City, with a £200,000 Commuted Sums Loan, at zero interest, over 18 years to cover the majority of the cost of renovating seven long-term empty houses over a period of 24 months
  • The properties are owned by the City Council and leased to Canopy on a peppercorn rent to make them available for homeless families. This is part of Leed’s  'Filling The Void' Empty Homes Strategy 2016-2019; Canopy envisage that the full cost of the renovations will be met by using a combination of the loan itself, Canopy earned income and grant aid from trusts. Repayment of the loans will be from rental income

Commuted Sums Grants

  • South Ribble Borough Council has put in place a policy for allocating funding received via Commuted Sums which makes it possible for eligible organisations (both Registered and non-Registered Providers) to apply for up to 30% of the total development costs or £40,000 per unit, for either new build or refurbishment of existing properties, subject to expenditure being in line with the Council’s Affordable Housing Priorities
  • Preston City Council put aside £455,000 in December 2016 from their Commuted Sums, which they resolved to make available to organisations willing to lease long-term empty private sector properties, of which there were estimated to be 866, and bring them back into use: thus building their experience of the work undertaken by Methodist Action North West with funding from  the Government’s 2012-15  Empty Property Programme

Key Messages

  • Commuted sums can be used in a variety of ways to generate affordable housing in partnership with community led housing organisations
  • This can be done either by means of loans or grants, which may in turn lever in additional funding 
  • CLH organisations like Canopy often create employment and volunteering opportunities for local people 
  • Use of commuted sums involving CLH organisations can make it possible to tackle housing problems which mainstream housing providers will often shy away from, such as the renovation of “problem empty properties”


Published in March 2018