Wales Co-operative Centre awarded funding to support co-op and community-led housing

The cash comes from the Nationwide Foundation and the Welsh government

Wales Co-operative Centre has secured £1m to support the the development of co-operative and community-led housing.

The centre has been awarded a further three years funding, which will be used to deliver more affordable housing for people in need.

The programme – Communities Creating Homes – was launched at the Royal Welsh Show on 23 July and follows on from its Co-operative Housing Project, through which 137 co-operative and community-led housing homes were developed.

Chief executive Derek Walker said: “Wales is facing a housing crisis, with many people not able to afford a home to buy or to rent. In response, the Wales Co-operative Centre is helping people to come together to develop co-operative and community-led housing schemes, which can make housing more affordable.”

He added: “We have been pleased with the level of interest. Many were previously not aware of this alternative model but they have quickly understood what’s on offer. It is a chance to make homes, not just houses, and to create ready-made communities.

“The funding from the Nationwide Foundation and Welsh government will help us provide a comprehensive package of support which is free of charge and tailored to the needs of each scheme. Whether you’re new to co-operative and community-led housing, have already formed a group or want to join an existing group, we have specialist experts that can help.”

The Nationwide Foundation will provide three years of funding, with the Welsh government allocating funding for two of the three years.

Gary Hartin, Nationwide Foundation’s programme manager, said: “Co-operative and community-led housing provides decent, affordable homes for people who need them, in places where they’re wanted. It has the energy and commitment of local people and creates a big impact for the communities in which it delivers homes.

“In Wales, there is growing and clear demand for co-operative and community-led housing, so we welcome the commitment from the Welsh government which, alongside our funding, will ensure it continues to flourish. In fact, we believe co-operative and community-led housing has the potential to become a mainstream option in Wales for delivering affordable homes.”

Julie James, minister for housing and local government, added: “The Welsh government remains very committed to community-led housing in Wales, which enables the community to be integrally involved in decision making about their homes.

“Building more affordable housing and providing people with safe, warm and secure homes is a key priority for this Welsh government. I’m looking forward to watching it grow and flourish and contribute towards our commitment to build 20,000 affordable homes during this Assembly term.”

She added: “I am pleased we are able to expand the support available through the Wales Co-operative Centre in conjunction with the Nationwide Foundation. The demand for co-operative and community-led housing in Wales is growing – and this fantastic project will benefit from £270,000 over the next two years.”