Communities in Babergh and Mid Suffolk are now able to apply for a share of £415,000 funding to develop Community Led Housing.
Community Led Housing empowers local groups to identify what housing is needed in their area, the best location for it and to work with partners to deliver those developments.
Any communities interested in applying for funding can contact a newly appointed Community Housing Enabling Officer, who will walk applicants through the process, the benefits and the requirements of Community Led Housing. They can be contacted via:
Elizabeth Ling, Community Housing Enabling Officer – 07808 201 939, or by email.
Or via post at:
Community Housing Fund, Strategic Planning Team
8 Russell Road
Suffolk IP1 2BX
The Community Housing Enabling Officer can talk groups through the application process, or simply discuss the role of Community-Led Housing in meeting need and how a group can shape development in their area.
The funding – including £189,741 for Babergh communities and £225,476 for Mid Suffolk – was secured from the Department for Communities and Local Government last year. The fund could be used to conduct a Local Housing Needs Assessment within a community, to cover legal costs associated with land purchase such as conveyancing, or to cover technical and professional costs associated with development such as site surveying.
The councils will work closely with community-led housing groups and other stakeholders – such as the Community Land Trusts network and the Homes England – to put the right tools in place to ensure efficient delivery of new houses over the coming years.
The Lavenham Community Land Trust is an example of one of these groups in action, who have begun construction on a new housing scheme in Harwood Place, Lavenham with partners Hastoe Housing Association. This new funding will allow other communities across Babergh and Mid Suffolk to follow this example and bring forward housing to meet local needs in their areas.
Cllr Jan Osborne, Babergh District Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “Community Led Housing delivers the houses we need in a completely different way to large scale developments. The Lavenham Community Land Trust has already demonstrated what can be accomplished with this model, and these funds can help other towns and villages across Babergh to follow their example.”
Cllr Jill Wilshaw, Mid Suffolk District Council Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “We know we need to build more houses in the coming year, but we have a choice about how we build them. Community Led Housing allows people who know their area and know their needs to create the housing they’ll be living with: it puts the community at the heart of growth, and I’d urge any groups interested in being part of that to get in touch and talk about how to get involved.”