What works: Successful community housing

This short report takes a look at the enablers to success for community businesses in the community housing sector. It is part of a series of reports into ‘what works’ for community housing businesses. It was produced by SERIO, an applied research institute at the University of Plymouth.

Community-led housing takes on various forms including self-help housing, which largely involves the renovation of empty homes; co-housing, a form of cooperative housing, which involves co-ownership and people sharing facilities and living space; and community land trusts (CLTs), which typically involves a local community buying land and developing properties. The report looked predominantly at CLTs and found that for initial start-up costs and then larger grants and loans for housing development costs was essential. Another success factor for CLTs is having the skills and knowledge on the board and amongst key paid staff (especially a project manager) to successfully make business plans and navigate complex land legislation and regulations. Support from the local community as well as the council were key enablers to get housing plans approved.

We looked a four different case studies: Bishops Castle & District CLT in Shropshire, Bristol CLT in Bristol, Granby Four Streets CLT in Liverpool and Homes for Holsworthy CLT in Devon.