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Reply To: Live advice session on Community Led Housing – 12pm 25 November

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Hi David

A very good project to visit in the East Midlands in my view is Saffron Lane Neighbourhood Council in Leicester. You should contact Neil Hodgkin there neil.hodgkin@srcentre.org.uk – I’m sure he would be happy to talk to you.

In terms of your specific questions:
– challenges we may incure along this journey and proven strategies for overcoming them

Each project is very different, but as a rule of thumb, groups often stall when it comes to securing land and funding/finance for their proposed CLH project. You may find it helpful to look at our toolkit for start up CLH groups. See http://mycommunity.org.uk/resources/community-led-housing-toolkit-1-how-to-get-your-project-up-and-running/

In addition it’s always valuable to speak to those that have already gone down this path. Locality is working with BSHF to stage a series of learning visit over the next 18 months. These will be publicised soon so it’s worth keeping an eye out for them on Locality’s website http://www.locality.org.uk You may also like to consider joining Locality so that you can gain access to our members group which concentrates on CLH and is always sharing useful information and providing support to start up groups.

– what are the key stages in the development of a successful community housing scheme
Key stages would be
ensuring a project idea is viable
securing land and finance
winning community support
gaining planning permission
ongoing management

– who are the key individuals, groups or bodies we will need to engage/convince
the key bodies are:
the landowner
the local authority
the local community
there may well be many others depending on your project.

– the best sources of support for start-ups like us.

If you mean grant funding, I think the best and broadest option is currently the Community Buildings pre-feasibility Fund. There is more information here http://mycommunity.org.uk/programme/community-housing/?_a=funding
There are other small pots of money around which largely depend on the model of housing you choose to adopt.

In terms of advice and guidance, there are a number of housing support groups in existence to help you, again largely linked to the model of housing project you adopt. Locality membership does not require you to adopt a specific model.

Other groups include
CLT Network
UK Co-housing
Confederation of Co-operative Housing
Self Help Housing