A city council in the North West has invited local community organisations to get in touch and learn more about the kind of help that’s available if they want to build new affordable housing.
Lancaster City Council recently awarded a total of £427,000 to support two community-led housing projects in Halton.
Senior Co-Housing Group Ltd, a non-profit making organisation, was awarded £160,000 to develop a mixed tenure development of 20 properties, which are a mixture of 14 outright sale and six affordable units specifically designed for people aged 55 and over.
Lune Valley Community Land Trust, a separate non-profit making organisation, has been awarded up to £267,000 to develop a scheme of 20 houses let at social rent. The council said the exact mix and type of homes is still to be decided, taking account of the Parish Housing Needs Survey recently undertaken in Halton and the surrounding parishes.
The grants will fund the pre-development costs for both projects so that the schemes can be fully developed and obtain planning permission.
“I am delighted we have been able to support these two very important projects,” said Councillor Caroline Jackson, the council’s cabinet member for housing. “Community-led housing aims to solve local housing problems, create affordable homes and establish and encourage strong communities.
“’The really important thing about these developments is that all the houses will be passivhaus standard for energy efficiency. They will show local developers what can be achieved and needs to be achieved if we are to reduce our carbon emissions radically by 2030.
“The city council is committed to helping to create sustainable communities for future generations and I would encourage other community groups wanting to provide something similar to get in touch to see how we can help.”
Community-led housing is where local communities have identified a housing need in their area and become directly involved in bringing housing developments forward.
The city council was awarded £707,000 Community Housing Fund grant from central government to support and promote opportunities to bring forward new community led developments.
It has partnered with other local authorities in Cumbria to set up a new Community Led Enabling Hub. The hub has been set up to assist new community groups to provide direct support and help develop options by working with a range of other organisations and funding providers to bring schemes into fruition.