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Community Led Housing in East Yorkshire - support to start the process

28th May 2020

Please note the Community-Led Housing Project continues in a "Business as Usual" way, despite the Coronavirus situation. David Siddle and I are continuing to support existing groups and are happy to supply information on the project to anyone wanting to know more about providing affordable homes for local residents in need.

We continue the Workshops of which we have run two, but virtually. The next virtual workshop takes place on Thursday 28th May at 4pm and runs for approx. one hour.  If you wish to take part, please email Peter Hirschfeld at peter.hirschfeld@hwrcc.org.uk.

Community-led Housing in East Yorkshire

For many rural households, finding affordable accommodation in their community remains a difficulty, with homes in some cases, costing more than 8 times local average wages.

There is also an affordability gap in many areas, which is not helped by the low wage economy.

However, there are a range of development options which communities can consider, in order to meet the affordable housing needs of their residents. One option is Communty-Led Housing.

So, What is Community-Led Housing?

Simply put, this is affordable housing, which provides homes for people on modest incomes, who cannot afford to buy or rent on the open market, and who live in or have a strong local connection to their community. These homes can help sustain communities by offering families, young couples and single people, the chance to remain living in their community, with its strong local connections and family ties.

Strong local support is vital and Parish, Town Councils, local Community Groups and individuals can play a key role in getting this type of initiative off the ground.

i.e something for everyone

  • For people on a range of incomes
  • For specific groups of people
  • For people who want to rent or buy
  • For groups wanting to build new homes or refurbish existing buildings

As the title suggests, the community takes the lead in this type of project. Through comprehensive community consultation, the affordable housing needs of your residents are identified, including the housing types and tenures that are required.

The community is also involved in identifying places where the homes could be built and what the development should like. Finally, they will have a say in who will be able to live in these homes, through a local lettings policy. In the main, these types of housing are mostly for rent and shared ownership. This ensures that the homes can be kept in perpetuity for the community, well into the future.

The homes can be new builds or the refurbishment of empty properties locally and there are a variety of development models that can be used to provide what is required. Most Community-Led Housing sites are small in nature, which the volume house builders would not touch. so Villages would not get swamped by this type of development.

Support is available from East Riding of Yorkshire Council, which has funding through the Community Housing Fund to support these types of developments. Humber & Wolds Rural Action provides Demand Stimulation exercises and  Community Support to any group who wishes to see these types of homes built in their community. 

Community-Led Housing is a growing movement of ordinary residents taking action and managing housing projects that build decent and affordable homes that their community needs. Anyone can start, volunteer and deliver a Community-Led Housing project. You don't need to work in Housing, have a degree in architecture or be a builder. If you think a change is needed, you can lead it.

For an informal chat or to find out more about the project and how it could help your community, please contact Peter Hirschfeld - Community Support Officer for Community-Led Housing at Humber & Wolds Rural Action. Ring 01652 637700 or email peter.hirschfeld@hwrcc.org.uk

The six main features are:-

  • They put local people in the driving seat - you decide where homes are built, what they look like and decide how local people are selected for the homes provided.
  • You create community assets which can generate income for your town or village to support other local partners.
  • They are usually small scale - most developments are less than 10 homes and some are much smaller. No two developments are the same.
  • Although most schemes are usually set up and run by local people in their own communities, many are also supported by housing associations, local authorities or regional and national organisations.
  • They provide affordable homes for rent, shared ownership, sale or self build sites that are often difficult or even impossible for mainstream housing providers to develop.
  • Schemes meet long-term local housing needs, by the community exercising full control over how and where the homes are provided and retaining a legal and/or financial interest in them, ensuring they will be available to local people who need them and at a price they can afford.
  • Community-Led Housing is not for profit, involving considerable voluntary effort from those who decide to become involved. It is an effort that several hundred communities across the country have already made, with many successful developments initiated by Parish and Town Councils.

The following help is also available for groups interested in Community-led Housing:

Community Led Housing in East Yorkshire - support to start the process

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