Getting started

Getting started on your own community led housing project

Community-led housing involves local people playing a leading and lasting role in solving housing problems.

To help you get started on this journey we can answer all your questions and assist you to find ways to create genuinely affordable homes and strong communities in ways that are difficult to achieve through mainstream housing.


Community-led housing is a broad movement encompassing a range of approaches. These can include Community Land Trusts (CLTs), cooperatives, cohousing, self-help housing and group self-build, and can involve new build, regeneration or the use of existing buildings. We will support you throughout your project with independent advice, enabling you to make informed choices by providing a full suite of processes, tools and options. This

includes carrying out independent Housing Needs Surveys.

Once you have a scheme in mind, we will provide you with all the

training you need on issues of governance, management, development and community organisation. We don’t pretend it will all be plain sailing but we can act as an intermediary between professionals, local authorities and community groups, facilitating understanding, constructive discussion and decision making.

We build the sectors capacity and capability by:

On top of this, we can provide access to a range of technical support professionals and finally, we

will share good practice so you can learn from example. This makes it easier for you to emulate successful projects and be better informed if you face any hurdles.

Community led housing (new build/re-purposing or refurbishment) is developed by the community for the

community; in order to meet the community’s housing needs. The community can be people from your neighbourhood, local area, or more widely a group of local like-minded people. Your community is exactly that, yours.


The common themes to all Community Led Housing are that:

The community is central in all keydecisions and involved throughout the development process.

The community takes a long-term formal role in the ownership, stewardship or management of

the homes.

The benefits of the project to thelocal area and / or community group are clear and legally protected inperpetuity.

There is no right way to docommunity housing, as long as your focus is to develop a scheme tailored to the needs of your community. Some of the more common structures (though not exclusively) available to your project are:


Community Land Trusts

Community land trusts (or CLTs) are non-profit, community led organisations set up to own assets like housing, land or shops for the benefit of the local community in perpetuity CLTs are run by the community and everyone living and working in the community is given the opportunity to join.


Incorporates both shared and private spaces and can be built for specific interest groups. Stewardship is embedded in the projects constitution with all residents holding an equal vote in the

management of the housing. Most cohousing schemes include a ‘common house’ with communal spaces.

Housing Co-operatives

In a co-op, the members are responsible for maintaining their homes, but the properties belong to the co-operative. The members pay rent to the co-op but make collective decisions about how their homes are run.


Self-builders build or develop their own homes. They can either employ the skills of the community group or project manage the building/renovation process.

Don’t worry if you don’t yet know which structure your community led housing project will adopt. This is something that will become clear as you discuss the needs and aspirations of your community with us.

What is important, is that you explore the possibilities!



How we promote Community Led housing...



To leverage resources and finance...



To provide affordable housing...



Meet our Alliance organisations here to help...