Affordable housing given a boost
The government has announced a new scheme designed to increase the numbers of affordable housing schemes built across the country. The Community Housing Fund will bring communities together to both build and refurbish affordable homes.
The policy was announced by the Secretary of State, James Brokenshire, and will be managed by Homes England. The scheme will run in two phases with the first offering revenue grants to community-led housing groups to take them through the planning stages and then capital grants offered for the construction of the homes.
It is expected that the fund will contribute to the building of thousands of additional affordable homes over the next three years and will increase the long-term sustainability of community housing in the future.
Evidence has shown that community schemes tend to lead to the building of more homes than large developers and all will be affordable. This is rarely the case for commercial developers. It is for this reason that bodies such as the Confederation of Co-operative housing, the National Community Land Trust and UK Cohousing have welcomed the proposals.
Tom Chance from the National CLT Network has stated that they are delighted that the government has recognised the potential of community-led housing and that new approaches to house building need to play a bigger role to beat the housing crisis.
This is a view echoed by Tony Armstrong from the Community Housing Fund who has said that they believe in harnessing the power of community to create a fairer society and they are excited to be working collaboratively to help deliver new and refurbished homes.