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Over 20 community groups handed cash to kick-start housing projects

Communities should build their own houses as a solution to the housing crisis, Locality has said, as it announced funding to support the projects of 22 community housing groups across England.

Locality, a national network of community organisations, will provide affordable, community-led housing start-up projects with two years of support through the Early Stage Support programme.

Community housing currently makes up 1% of the market, but can provide communities with affordable housing, as well as raising rental income which can be re-invested in more housing or community regeneration.

Tony Armstrong, chief executive of Locality, said: “It’s so exciting to be giving these groups the chance to get started with their own community-led developments.

"Communities know what kind of housing is needed in their neighbourhoods and can be best placed to provide quality, affordable homes for the people in their area. All they need is a little help to get started and this programme will help them achieve their vision and, we hope, inspire other groups to take up the challenge too.”

The programme will include specialist guidance designed to help groups “take the first steps on the path to creating homes for their local communities, helping to quietly revolutionise housing and ensure decent, truly affordable homes are provided for people who need them”.

Gary Hartin, programme manager at the Nationwide Foundation, which is funding the project, added: “We are firm believers that community-led housing offers a meaningful way to create more genuinely affordable housing.

“Our ambition is to see it more widely used and acknowledged as a valuable tool to help tackle the desperate shortage of affordable and decent homes.”

Find out more about the programme in the upcoming October/November edition of PSE.

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