When communities and future residents are at the centre of housing development and management, their creativity and inherent interest in long term value helps achieve more successful, more affordable places for us all.
Community-led housing shares the following principles:
- Meaningful community engagement and consent occurs throughout the development process. Communities do not necessarily have to initiate the conversation, or build homes themselves, though many do;
- There is a presumption that the community group or organisation will take a long-term formal role in the ownership, stewardship, or management of the homes; and
- The benefits to the local area and/or specified community are clearly defined and legally protected in perpetuity.
Our map of CLH projects in London shows a range of approaches including housing co-operatives, community land trusts (CLTs), and cohousing, which often overlap and respond to specific contexts and objectives. We have sought to clarify our interpretation of the CLH definition, however a determined and enthusiastic group of people is just as important.
benefits of community-led housing
- greater diversity of housing, alongside private developers or housing associations.
- increased housing supply, where communities can help achieve higher densities or unlock sites that may otherwise be difficult to develop.
- a greater sense of ownership and a more stable and supportive environment, as residents get to know each other, remain in, and care for the area, contributing to healthier and happier places;
- increased confidence and empowerment for residents, with influence over their housing and realising a common endeavour.
- a unique understanding of what works for a particular site or particular group of people, especially in terms of affordability or older people.
recent CLH case studies
Planning permission for 11 new genuinely affordable homes in perpetuity, on a disused garage site.
A Community Land Trust creating sustainable and affordable neighbourhoods. This 33 unit scheme allows local people to self-build their homes.
Coin Street Community Builders has developed 220 affordable homes for people in housing need, run by four fully mutual housing co-operatives.
A group of six mixed households forming London's first cohousing project.
A self-build housing co-operative built in timber frame, around a communal garden, in the early 1990s.
60 one and two-bed extra care homes for affordable rent next to their existing properties for older people.
10 affordable rented houses where residents collectively finished joinery, fixtures and fittings, once the structural shell was built by Circle.
Mace Housing Co-op's is a fully mutual cooperative, their objective is to provide housing for single homeless people.
The Leathermarket CBS, set up by residents, led the development of 27 homes for social rent, on their estate.
Delivering 22 units of resale price capped sub-market units in Enfield, built to the bare minimum allowing residents to adapt their homes over time.
A group of women over fifty who formed the first senior cohousing community in the UK. A housing association forward funded the scheme.
Residents have moved into London’s first 23 Community Land Trust homes, offering genuine affordability in perpetuity.