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Community-led affordable housing fund

A fund of £163M has been announced, intended to support community-led housing groups in the development of affordable homes across England.

The new Community Housing Fund was launched by the Housing, Communities and Local Government Secretary of State James Brokenshire on 2 July 2018.

The fund is designed to help community-led housing groups significantly increase the delivery of affordable homes, while developing a body of expertise as a lasting legacy for the community housing sector. Community led sectors will provide housing that’s affordable for local incomes.

The first phase of funding will support community groups with pre-development funding, while local authorities can also bid for revenue funding to support capacity-building activities for community-led groups in their areas.

In addition, local authorities can bid for capital funding for small-scale infrastructure projects, such as roundabouts or pumping stations, to unlock sites that the community can then develop for housing.

Funding outside London is being allocated by Homes England across two phases. A separate programme for London will be delivered by the Greater London Authority. This is in addition to £60M of funding that has already been allocated directly by Government to 148 councils in December 2016.

Homes England Chief Executive Nick Walkley said: “Community-led housing is about local people playing a leading role in solving local housing problems to provide affordable homes and strengthen communities in ways that aren’t always possible to achieve through mainstream housing.

“At Homes England, we’re determined to increase the supply of homes across all tenures and increase capacity in the housing sector. This is a really important fund, which will offer lasting impact and we look forward to receiving bids from community groups across England.”

Tom Chance, Director at the National Community Land Trust Network, said: “We’re delighted the Government has recognised the vital role community-led housing can play in delivering much-needed affordable housing. It’s the fastest growing new form of housing in the country. The new Community Housing Fund will provide long-lasting opportunities for communities everywhere so they can go out and build the homes they really want and need.”

Bidding for Phase One of the Fund is now open on a Continuous Market Engagement basis via the Homes England Portal. A second phase of the fund will be launched later this year by Homes England, who will invite bids for capital funding to develop community-led affordable housing schemes.

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