Leeds Community Homes smashes its £360k community share offer target

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Housing success after Power to Change matched the first £100,000 of investment
3 Feb, 2017

16 ‘affordable-for-good’ homes get the green light – people set to move in Spring 2018

  • Leeds Community Homes’ (LCH) first project smashes its £360,000 investment target in 3 months.
  • Support for Community Share Offer support ‘overwhelming’ across Leeds and UK.
  • 16 permanently-affordable homes to be created in Leeds’ new Climate Innovation District.
  • People set to move in from Spring 2018.
  • LCH on course to create 1000 affordable homes in Leeds over next 10 years.
  • LCH calls on other Leeds groups to get involved in new ‘community-led’ approach to building and development.

In just three months, Leeds Community Homes (LCH) has raised the £360,000 it needs to create 16 affordable homes in Leeds. Raised through an innovative Community Share Offer, the final investment figure will exceed the initial £360,000 target.

The Leeds Community Homes Share Offer is a new initiative giving people the opportunity to invest in the creation of permanently-affordable homes for people in Leeds.

Gill Coupland, one of the founder members of Leeds Community Homes, said

We’re absolutely thrilled with the response we’ve had to our community share offer.  When you do something like this, you have no idea how people are going to respond.  But the response – both from people in Leeds and across the UK – has been overwhelming.  £360,000 is an incredible sum to raise in just over three months.”

The money invested so far will be used to deliver LCH’s first project – the purchase of 16 affordable homes in Leeds’ Climate Innovation district – the largest sustainable development in the UK, by Leeds based developer Citu. Nine properties will be bought for social rent and LCH will also make seven properties available for sale at around two-thirds of market value.

Gill continued:

The next steps are for us to finalise negotiations with the developer who’s building the homes – with a view to paying deposits on our first homes in four or five months time.  We expect the first people to be moving into homes owned by Leeds Community Homes in Spring 2018.

Rob Greenland, also a founder member of Leeds Community Homes, explained that Leeds Community Homes have longer-term ambitions – to be involved in creating 1000 affordable homes in Leeds over the next ten years:

We’re really excited about this first project and we’re determined it won’t be our last.  Alongside getting started on these first 16 homes, we’re going to be spending this year developing a range of other ideas to create more affordable, sustainable homes in Leeds.  We want to build some of those ourselves – and also support other groups in Leeds to take what we’re calling a “community-led” approach to building the homes our city needs.  We’d like to encourage anyone with ideas to get in touch with us.”

Ged Devlin, programme manager at Power to Change said:

People in Leeds led this amazing success, and Power to Change are proud we were part of it.

Our idea was a simple one. We believed that, by matching the first £100,000 raised by the community, we would also match their ambition and could help unlock the sort of capital Leeds Community Homes needed to succeed. We are delighted we have been proven right. We were part of getting the project off the ground, and local investors responded incredibly.”