This report sets out how and why local authorities should encourage and enable community-led housing. It is based on submissions to the Housing Commission by 47 local authorities and evidence given at events held in Rochdale and London. It gives practical examples of local authority support for community-led housing (CLH) and sources of further guidance and information.
We are in the midst of a housing crisis, with housing markets failing to meet the needs of local communities. Across the UK there are different housing markets: urban and rural; areas of high housing demand, with increasing problems with affordability and homelessness, and areas of low demand, where problems centre on empty homes and declining neighbourhoods. Affordability is a rural issue too, with a lack of options for young people to live in the area where they were born.
The Housing Commission was set up by the Cooperative Councils’ Innovation Network (CCIN), led by Croydon Council, to show how co-operative, community-based solutions can help to tackle the housing crisis. Local authorities have told us that Community-Led Housing (CLH) can help to boost housing supply, deliver new affordable housing and return empty homes to use. Moreover, CLH is not just about bricks and mortar – it is about empowering people, and creating and sustaining communities. In the light of the Grenfell Tower tragedy and the consequent review of social housing, it is timely to consider how to connect housing with communities.