Power to Change will support the building of more than 1,100 new affordable homes in England, owned and controlled by local communities, over the next four years.
The independent trust will put more than £10 million into a housing stimulus package, which will support local community groups to build more affordable homes for themselves. The initial focus of the investment is in Bristol and Leeds city regions, with investment planned for three more areas over the next four years.
The announcement comes as new polling shows that finding an affordable and appropriate home is the biggest challenge people face in their local area.
When asked to pick the three biggest challenges facing people their age in their local area, 43% respondents to the YouGov poll chose finding somewhere to live. 22% chose the poor quality or lack of transport; 21% chose a lack of affordable places to socialise; and 20% chose access to training and jobs.
Some of the community groups developing their own housing will be showcased as part of Community Business Weekend, which runs from Thursday 5 to Sunday 8 October.
The Weekend, co-ordinated by Power to Change, will see more than 200 community groups across England welcome in friends and neighbours, to showcase the work they do, attract new staff and volunteers, and invite more ideas from local people. This includes community businesses which directly address housing shortages, as well as those working on key local issues of transport, public space, and the skills gap.
Vidhya Alakeson, Chief Executive of Power to Change, said:
‘The shortage of affordable housing in places across England is one of the great challenges of our time. Communities can take on this work themselves, but we know it is tough. We want to give them a helping hand.
‘Local people can sometimes develop on land that no one else will build on. There are big projects in places like London and Hastings already doing that, with our support. We want to see even more community housing projects getting off the ground’.
The shortage of affordable housing in places across England is one of the great challenges of our time. Communities can take on this work themselves, but we know it is tough. We want to give them a helping hand.
Leading housing community businesses involved in Community Business Weekend include:
- Granby Four Streets (Toxteth, Liverpool), the 2015 Turner Prize-winning programme which brought back to life some of the area’s last remaining rows of terraces.
- Brixton Green, where locals are being supported to create more than 300 new affordable homes in south London.
- Ore Valley in Hastings where up to 50 new homes are to be built on the site of a derelict power station.
Community businesses are successful businesses which are accountable to their community and use their profits to deliver positive local impact.
All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 6381 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 14th – 18th September 2017. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+)