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New community-led housing fund launched

A new community housing fund is launching that could help thousands of affordable homes be built across the UK.

The new fund is being led by CAF Venturesome, the social investment arm of the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF). Since 2008, they’ve provided more than £5m in social investment to build 190 affordable new homes, with 470 in the pipeline through their Community Land Trust (CLT) Funds and the new fund plans to support up to 1,000 more.

Community-led housing models have grown rapidly in recent years. Research data collected by Homes England revealed that there are more than 16,000 community-led homes in the pipeline.

One of the big barriers holding back further investment is community groups not having access to early-stage finance, which was a point identified in the 2019 Helping Communities Build report.

The CLH Fund is open for applications for loans, standby facilities and grants at every stage of the project. Power to Change, the charitable trust which supports community businesses, has contributed £500,000 to offer cash grants as part of the project.

Supporters of the fund include the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, Power to Change, the Tudor Trust, Nationwide Foundation, CAF and several individual philanthropists.

CAF Venturesome’s Holly Piper said: ‘We launched this new fund in response to the increasing demand from community groups to deliver affordable housing,

‘People want to live in a community where they have easy access to family support, good employment opportunities and where house prices are affordable for locals. Too often, that’s not the case.’

‘Community-led housing projects provide a greater sense of security and wellbeing, offer a brighter future for families and they contribute to the local economy.”

Rose Seagrief, Programme Manager for Housing at Power to Change added: ‘This new fund will support all kinds of community-led homes, and in particular, will help communities access land more quickly, which is often the biggest issue they face.’

Last month, New Start travelled to York to visit YorSpace, a CLT that is disrupting the city’s housing market with 19 permanently affordable homes that could open later this year.

Photo Credit – YorSpace.

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