Community-led housing is a new form of housing development where local people are integrally involved in all aspects the process.

It puts the community and its identified needs at the heart of plans for new housing, ensuring that the community retains some form of control or stewardship over the housing.

In most cases, residents of these new homes will have a local connection, so policies have to be agreed about how to do this.

There are many benefits to community-led housing. The first is the variety of home types. Mainstream developers often don’t build homes that local people need, such as starter homes for young families, accessible homes for older people wishing to downsize and small homes for young workers in local employment.  

Addressing particular housing needs

Community-led developments address particular needs and thereby support local amenities such as shops or village schools.

They ensure that local people can continue to live in their communities rather than be forced to move further away because nothing local meets their needs.

Sustainability benefits

Sustainability is another benefit. Homes are usually built to a high eco spec, so are cheaper to run and kinder to the planet.

This does cost a little more, but it’s made possible because community-led housing is not driven by the large profit margins built into standard developments.

Affordable housing

Affordability also makes these schemes attractive; in almost all cases, the homes are genuinely affordable to rent or buy.

Tenancies can give those renting the security to plan their lives long-term, unlike the standard commercial 6–12 month tenancy which means living constantly under threat of having to move. Where homes are purchased, covenants and other legal agreements ensure that local benefit continues when residents change