CAF Venturesome launches new fund to give house-building power back to local people

A new housing fund is launching that aims to empower community groups, enabling them to plan and build a thousand affordable homes in local communities across the country.

The fund is being announced at a time when politicians across the country are looking for urgent answers to tackle the housing shortage.

The new fund is being led by CAF Venturesome, the social investment arm of the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF). Since 2008, they’ve provided more than £5m in social investment to build 190 affordable new homes, with 470 in the pipeline through their Community Land Trust Funds and the new fund plans to support up to 1,000 more. Whilst these numbers won’t be enough to solve the housing crisis, supporters of community-led housing believe it could be scaled up in years to come and provide many more affordable houses.

“We launched this new fund in response to the increasing demand from community groups to deliver affordable housing,” comments CAF Venturesome’s Holly Piper. “People want to live in a community where they have easy access to family support, good employment opportunities and where house prices are affordable for locals. Too often, that’s not the case.”

Community-led housing models have grown rapidly in recent years. Research data collected by Homes England revealed that there are more than 16,000 community-led homes in the pipeline.

One of the big barriers holding back further investment is community groups not having access to early stage finance. This was identified in the 2019 Helping Communities Build report.

The CLH Fund is open for applications for loans, standby facilities and grants [1] at every stage of the project. Power to Change, the charitable trust which supports community businesses, has contributed £500,000 to offer cash grants as part of the project.

Supporters of the fund include the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, Power to Change, the Tudor Trust, Nationwide Foundation, CAF and several individual philanthropists.

Piper continues: “Community-led housing projects provide a greater sense of security and wellbeing, offer a brighter future for families and they contribute to the local economy.”

Rose Seagrief, Programme Manager for Housing at Power to Change said: “This new fund will support all kinds of community led homes, and in particular, will help communities access land more quickly, which is often the biggest issue they face.”

For more information on the CLH Fund please visit www.cafonline.org/charities/borrowing/social-investment/community-led-housing

[1] Grants available in England only.

Notes

For more information please contact Press office direct line (24 hours): 03000 123 286

Press office email: media@cafonline.org 

Daniel Slipper, dslipper@cafonline.org

Office: 03000 123 715 / Mobile: 07969 296 646

About CAF

CAF exists to make giving go further, so that more lives and communities around the world can be transformed.

CAF is a charity and a champion for better giving, and for over 90 years has helped donors, companies, charities and social organisations make a bigger impact. CAF Venturesome is an impact focused social investment fund supporting social enterprises and charities to sustain and grow their impact. Since 2002, it has made over 640 social investments totalling £54m+.

We are CAF and we make giving count.

www.cafonline.org

About Power to Change

Power to Change is the independent trust that supports community businesses in England.

Community businesses are locally rooted, community-led, trade for community benefit and make life better for local people. The sector owns assets worth £890m, and comprises 9,000 community businesses across England who employ 33,600 people. (Source: Community Business Market 2019)

From pubs to libraries; shops to bakeries; swimming pools to solar farms; community businesses are creating great products and services, providing employment and training and transforming lives. Power to Change received its endowment from the National Lottery Community Fund in 2015.

www.powertochange.org.uk @peoplesbiz

For more information please contact: Alex Valk 07384 812777 alexv@powertochange.org.uk

About The National Lottery Community Fund

We are the largest community funder in the UK – we’re proud to award money raised by National Lottery players to communities across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Since June 2004, we have made over 200,000 grants and awarded over £9 billion to projects that have benefited millions of people.

We are passionate about funding great ideas that matter to communities and make a difference to people’s lives. At the heart of everything we do is the belief that when people are in the lead, communities thrive. Thanks to the support of National Lottery players, our funding is open to everyone. We’re privileged to be able to work with the smallest of local groups right up to UK-wide charities, enabling people and communities to bring their ambitions to life.