Funding boost for community-led housing scheme

September 01, 2020 - 10:30am

Funding boost for community-led housing scheme

Lancaster City Council is urging local community organisations to get in touch to find out more about how they can apply for help to build new affordable housing schemes in their areas.

The call follows the recent award of £375,000 to Lune Valley Community Land Trust for a proposed new development which will provide 20 new affordable homes on Mill Lane in Halton.

The money will be used to buy the land and is in addition to a £267,000 grant approved last year for pre-development costs. On completion it will meet full Passivhaus certification standard – which means that homes will use very little energy for heating and cooling.  Before settling on the details of this scheme the Community Land Trust consulted with people in Halton and surrounding areas to find out their needs. 

Councillor Caroline Jackson, Cabinet member with responsibility for housing, said: “I am delighted that we have been able to support this very important project on Mill Lane and hope it will inspire others to develop similar schemes in their own communities.

“Community-led housing is all about local people playing a leading role in transforming their future by creating genuinely affordable homes and strong communities in a way that mainstream housing cannot achieve.

“If you belong to a group of people with a passion for their community and an interest in developing an affordable housing scheme we can provide the advice and assistance needed to develop it further. The city council is committed to helping to create sustainable communities for future generations and I would encourage community groups wanting to know more to get in touch to see how we can help.”

The council has just over £100,000 left in its Community Housing Fund budget, from an initial £707,630 which was allocated to it from central government to help groups start their own development plans. 

The council can provide assistance in securing grant funding for groups that can help with set up costs, early feasibility work, pre-development costs right through to capital funding for construction costs.  It could support a number of models of community-led housing and can include co-housing, Community Land Trusts (CLT), cooperative housing, self and custom build.

For more information please see the council’s website Lancaster.gov.uk /community-housing-fund or email Beki Winter, the council’s Community Housing Fund Development Officer, at ewinter@lancaster.gov.uk, or telephone 07780 957415.