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Community Housing Fund

Overview

The Community Housing Fund (CHF) provides £60 million per year of revenue and capital to local authorities based on the percentage of second homes in the area.

We have been awarded £976,387 of which £488,194 has already been received and the 2nd tranche will be allocated following the completion of a pro forma to Department for Communities & Local Government (DCLG) outlining an action plan for spend; which was returned on 10 March 2017.

The first year of funding should be used to build capacity within local groups such as improving technical skills, setting up support hubs to offer advice, business planning and providing staff to review local housing needs.

Funding in the following years must then be used to deliver housing on the ground for local people.

What is the Community Housing Fund?

The purpose of the CHF is to enable and facilitate community led housing opportunities. The criteria of community led housing are:

  • That the community must be integrally involved throughout the process in key decisions;
  • Community groups play a long term role in ownership, management or stewardship of the homes;
  • Benefits to the local area and/or specified community must be clearly defined and legally protected in perpetuity.

adobe icon Community Housing Fund - application for funding [73kb]  adobe icon Community Housing Fund - guidance for applicants [48kb]

What happens next?

New Forest District Council will provide support, advice and grants for the following:

  • Establish capacity in the local community to develop community led housing projects and provide seed corn funding to help support new community led housing organisations.
  • Offer grants for looking at community led housing models i.e. set up costs, advice, fees, planning, consultations and events.
  • Fund site feasibility studies, initial costs and fees to bring sites forward that may not be viable without additional support or funding, to provide new development opportunities and provide a legacy for independent future bidding during the 5 year CHF programme.
  • Provide revenue support to parishes that have already begun investigating land opportunities for a CLT (Community Land Trust) and support with funding for introductory advice and training.
  • Provide grants to support other newly formed community led housing organisations and community led concepts (co-operative, co-housing, empty homes and self-build).
  • Provide grants to facilitate or add value to community led housing developments in the pipeline through the rural preferred partner English Rural and New Forest Villages Housing Association.
  • Fund investigation of existing self-build professionals, the self-build register and investigate NFDC owned land opportunities for possible community led housing projects and affordable self-build opportunities.
  • Investigate empty property opportunities and offer grants to communities to bring back into use.
  • Through a dedicated resource we will:
    • Develop legacy capacity to support the creation of new local community led housing organisations and the expansion of existing ones.
    • Promote and support the formation of community led housing initiatives.
    • Identify and deliver a support package for groups wishing to develop community led housing organisations.
    • Promote, develop and support communities and initiatives with parish councils, parishes that have started in the neighbourhood plan process and other communities with an interest in community led housing.
    • Develop resources, best practice and guidance to include financial model templates for all models of community led housing (co-operative, co-housing, self-build, CLT).
    • Upskill communities to take projects forward.
    • Develop the self-build register, research methods of delivery including de-risking sites and making serviced plots available.
    • Investigate use of existing empty properties.
    • Procuring legal advice on site disposals to ensure that community led housing groups has a reasonable opportunity to secure sites.
    • Administration of the grants and loans to be provided.

What is community- led housing

  • Community Land Trust (CLT) - Community Land Trusts are a form of community led housing, where local organisations set up and run by ordinary people to develop and manage homes as well as other assets important to that community, like community enterprises, food growing or workspaces. Homes can be for rent and ownership.
     
  • Co-housing - Households each have a self-contained home but residents manage their community and share some facilities - this is an attractive option for older people to create support in both new developments and retrofit to existing sheltered housing.
     
  • Group self-build and collective custom build - Groups of people work together to build or directly commission their own homes. Emphasis on supporting each other, the process creates strong communities, skills and importantly bespoke homes that meet genuine need.
     
  • Housing Co-operative - Enable tenants to manage and control their homes leading to efficiencies and financial savings as well as developing skills and confidence within a community; many housing co-ops own the properties collectively which also offers opportunities to invest in wider socially beneficial activities.
     
  • Empty properties - Self-help housing offers people the chance to bring empty properties back into use. Effective for providing work experience and training to people from vulnerable backgrounds.

If you would like information on the above please contact Lucy Buis by email or call 023 8028 5588

Updated: 30 Jun 2017
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