The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government announced it will allocate £4m to help community-based organisations bid for funds to support them to prepare bids for the £11.5 billion Affordable Homes Programme.
Announced on 30 January, the decision was welcomed by the Confederation of Co-operative Housing (CCH), and its partner organisations – the National CLT Network, UK Cohousing, and Locality.
This Affordable Homes Programme aims to provide up to 180,000 new homes across the country while helping to diversify the homebuilding sector, improving design, sustainability and build quality by developing modern methods of construction.
CCH says the renewed Community Housing Fund fund will help housing co-operatives and other community-led housing organisations apply for money to support them in preparing their bids for the £11.5bn Affordable Homes Programme. The £4m fund will also help projects to potentially access other sources of funding and help progress those schemes that are stuck at the beginning of the process.
CCH chief executive, Blase Lambert, said: “I very much welcome the government’s renewed commitment to supporting communities that want to access grant to build new affordable homes in England as demonstrated by its announcement of £4m in revenue support.
“The sector’s lobbying, led by Catherine Harrington at the National CLT Network, has delivered much needed new resource that will enable many communities to make significant progress with their plans to deliver affordable homes using the various approaches and models of community led housing.”
CCH said the move was “an encouraging step in the right direction” and pledged to continue to make the case to HM Treasury and Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government for longer-term funding for community led housing in the next Spending Review, which is due to take place later this year.
Catherine Harrington, joint CEO of the National CLT Network, said: “We welcome the government’s decision to allocate £4m in revenue funding to the Community Housing Fund for 2021/22. This is an encouraging step in the right direction.
“More investment will be needed to deliver the pipeline of homes. We saw revenue bids to the previous Fund amount to £27m and our research shows there is a demand for up to £53m in revenue funding over the next five years, with demand growing all the time.
“We expect an overwhelming number of applications to this 2021/22 Fund. This will demonstrate the need for more and longer-term public investment in community led housing. We look forward to making that case in the next Spending Review.”