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Community-led housing fund launched in London

Words: Laura Edgar
Community-led housing / iStock_000072375521

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has launched a £38 million fund for community-led housing. It aims to enable Londoners to play a leading role in building new social rented and other affordable homes for local people.

The London Community Housing Fund is expected to unlock 500 community-led homes by 2023. Grants or loans would be available to support building, development, and delivery.

Some of the funding would also be allocated to provide financial help for potential costs such as submitting planning applications or design fees.

Community-led housing allows residents to get involved in building and managing new homes themselves through cooperatives and community land trusts.

Bids are now being taken, with an online prospectus published by City Hall providing guidance for community groups who wish to bid. Communities wanting to develop their own homes can contact the London Community-Led Housing Hub for information and advice, funding, and technical support.

Khan said: “In London we have become far too reliant on large developers to build new housing. We need more homes to be built by councils and by communities themselves – and so I want to support more community-led housing projects that put London residents at the heart of the process. We have listened to what community-led housing groups say they need, and in response this new fund offers practical support and help with development costs that have often held community-led projects back. I urge Londoners interested in developing their own homes to read our new guidance and bid for funding.”

The funding builds on Khan's previous work to support community-led housing, including the allocation of two small Transport for London sites in Tower Hamlets and Lambeth to London Community Land Trust.

Tom Chance, director at the National Community Land Trust Network, said the long-awaited fund "will no doubt be transformative for new and existing community led housing projects across the capital".

“Community led housing puts communities firmly in the driver's seat. It’s communities that are best placed to understand and deliver the affordable housing that is so desperately needed. This is a fantastic opportunity for Londoners to shape their city.”

Image credit | iStock