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promoting innovative housing policy and practice


History and Context
Community-led housing is where people and communities play a leading role in making their own housing solutions – creating sustainable, affordable and lasting homes, building resilient and confident local communities, helping people to develop skills they never knew they had.
Community-led housing is part of a growing sector of social enterprise. As a small player without financial weight or leverage, the sector is massively under-resourced. However, it is exciting because it is free from ties to centralised systems, with greater power to innovate. Despite financial and bureaucratic obstacles, driven by passionate and enterprising individuals, the community-led sector produces some inspiring results.
A summary of the community-led housing sector in the UK alongside potential mechanisms for scaling up drawing on international case studies from the World Habitat Awards.
Most people agree that there is a housing problem in the UK...there aren’t enough suitable houses... Communities could help fill that gap.
The community-led housing sector is a diverse one, with a wide range of organisations offering support and advice to communities interested in taking a project forward. There is a wealth of online information for a range of audiences, whether they are new to the concept of community-led housing or already heavily involved in a project.
Masterplanning requires a clear brief developed through an understanding of local issues and challenges, as well as an appreciation of local assets. It should also raise aspirations and build a consensus for people to work together and implement the plan.
In Creating the Conditions for New Settlements the Building and Social Housing Foundation proposes New Settlement Partnerships as a way of enabling large scale locally-led development with a more active role for communities.
Baseline case studies report
This case studies report has been produced by the Housing and Communities Research Group at the University of Birmingham.
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