Local housing, community living: prospects for scaling up and scaling out community-led housing

Funded by the Nationwide Foundation, the Smith Institute carried out research to assess the opportunities and barriers the community led housing sector is facing in its efforts to scale up.

Few proponents of community-led housing would expect the sector to emerge overnight as a major supplier of homes across England. However, the authors believe that community-led housing provides an attractive and affordable alternative to conventional housing, and should be given every opportunity to flourish.

Yet despite some growth and several awarding-winning projects, the sector has yet to move from the margins to the mainstream. Indeed, its achievements are often sadly under-recognised, and much of the sector’s potential remains unrealised.

The authors funded this research to explore the variety of housing models within the community-led sector and to identify the key barriers to their expansion and wider uptake. The Smith Institute’s study shows how the sentiment is generally positive about doing more and spreading best practice.

There is no doubt that we need more decent and genuinely affordable housing in the UK. No single solution will solve the housing crisis, but we hope that this research by the Smith Institute will help to highlight the potential that community-led housing has to offer in delivering much-needed homes.

Related content

People celebrating in a street

New co-operative and community led homes

An introductory guide for those interested in exploring the development of new co‑operative and community led homes (eg. communities, local authorities, housing associations, housing co-ops and others).

A community led housing group gathering in the green near their homes

Local housing, community living.

The prospects for scaling up and scaling out community-led housing. Funded by the Nationwide Foundation, the Smith Institute carried out research to assess the opportunities and barriers community led facing in its efforts to scale up.