Community led housing

Community led housing is inspired and controlled by the community. Up and down the country more and more local groups are successfully completing housing schemes that provide affordable homes for local people.

The Surrey Community Housing Partnership has formed to promote and support community led housing in Surrey. We’re here to help communities develop their own homes.

About community led housing
Community led housing can take many different forms but basically, it’s built by the community to meet the needs of the community and is not for profit.

Some of the different approaches to community led housing include:

Community Land Trusts
Community groups that want to develop permanently affordable housing for their community can from a Community Land Trust (CLT). CLTs are community-controlled organisations that can own and develop land for housing and other community uses. The National Community Land Trust Network has a wealth of information on CLTs and what they can deliver and you can find out more by reading our briefing note written for parish and borough elected councillors.

A rural CLT: Wickham CLT in Hampshire, started by villagers, developed eight homes for villagers in partnership with a housing association.
A city CLT: London CLT emerged from a campaign for more affordable homes. It has partnered with developers to develop its first 23 affordable homes is now working to develop homes at several other sites across London.
A market town CLT: Keswick CLT, started by members of Churches Together, has developed affordable homes across three sites in Keswick.

Groups that want to develop affordable homes for themselves can form a self-build group. Self builders don’t necessarily build the homes themselves, but they do at least organise the building. We are running a series of pilot workshops to support self-builders and we intend to roll out this support across Surrey sometime soon. Get in touch if you’re interested. The Self Build Portal has information for people looking to start self build.

People who want to develop their own community should consider Cohousing – Housing made up of private dwellings and shared communal facilities. UK Cohousing explains how this works.
OWCH (Older Women’s Co-Housing) is a great example of co-housing. Look at the short film on their website.

Self-help housing
Groups that want to provide accommodation for people in need of homes can consider Self-help Housing. This is bringing empty properties into use as homes. See for information.

People who what to manage their own homes can choose to join or create housing cooperatives. This is a way of tenants democratically controlling the management or development of homes. The Confederation of Co-operative Housing explains this type of housing management.

Get involved
Get in touch with our Community Housing Project Manager, David Cowan at Surrey Community Action via email or call 01483 447115.

About Surrey Community Housing Partnership
The Surrey Community Housing Partnership is a new initiative delivered by Surrey Community Action. The partnership is between Surrey Community Action and eight Surrey boroughs and districts. It will support people to form groups and develop housing. It will help groups clarify their goals, access expert advice, secure funding and find suitable development sites. The districts and boroughs involved are Elmbridge, Epsom & Ewell, Guildford, Mole Valley, Surrey Heath, Tandridge, Waverley and Woking.