PP_Community Led Housing and Self Build/Custom Build Housing

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Community led housing is a growing movement of normal people taking action and managing housing projects that build the decent and affordable homes that the country so desperately needs.

Community led housing offers something for everyone:

  • For people on a range of different incomes
  • For specific groups of people
  • For people who want to rent or buy
  • For groups wanting to build new homes or refurbish existing buildings

Most community-led housing has five main features:

  • It is often small scale – in rural areas, most schemes are under 20/25 homes and some are smaller; in urban areas some much larger schemes are now being promoted and delivered.
  • Schemes are usually set up and run by local people in their own communities, often with external support from registered providers, local authorities or regional and national support organisations.
  • It provides genuinely affordable homes for rent, shared ownership or sale on sites that are often difficult for mainstream housing providers to develop.
  • Schemes meet long-term local housing needs, by the community retaining a legal and/or financial interest in the homes provided and ensuring they are always available to local people who need them.
  • Community-led housing is not for profit, involving considerable voluntary effort.

Self or Custom build

In general terms this is where an individual builds their own home or contracts a builder to create a ‘custom built’ home for them. Some self builders join with others as building as a collective can be more cost effective and open up more site possibilities.


Types of Community Led Housing:

Community engagement in housing, while not considered mainstream in England, has a significant history. Over time a number of established models of provision have developed their own niches. Whilst these models all have specific characteristics, they overlap to the extent that the distinctions between them are becoming increasingly academic. Community groups can and do choose to mix combinations of different models in order to address their own specific needs

Cohousing; an approach where households each have a self-contained home but residents come together to manage their community and share activities. Cohousing developments generally have an element of shared space.

Community Land Trusts; community organisations that develop housing, community facilities or other assets that meet the needs of the community. They are owned and controlled by the community and are made available at permanently affordable levels.

Community self-build; groups of households working together to build their own homes. Different models exist but the emphasis is always on supporting one another through the process.

Housing cooperatives; housing organisations where members (residents) democratically control and manage their homes. Many housing cooperatives also own their properties collectively.

Self-help housing; an approach which brings empty properties back into use for the benefit of communities.

Tenant Management Organisations; where communities manage existing homes owned by local authorities or housing associations.

Community led housing is a growing movement of normal people taking action and managing housing projects that build the decent and affordable homes that the country so desperately needs.

Community led housing offers something for everyone:

  • For people on a range of different incomes
  • For specific groups of people
  • For people who want to rent or buy
  • For groups wanting to build new homes or refurbish existing buildings

Most community-led housing has five main features:

  • It is often small scale – in rural areas, most schemes are under 20/25 homes and some are smaller; in urban areas some much larger schemes are now being promoted and delivered.
  • Schemes are usually set up and run by local people in their own communities, often with external support from registered providers, local authorities or regional and national support organisations.
  • It provides genuinely affordable homes for rent, shared ownership or sale on sites that are often difficult for mainstream housing providers to develop.
  • Schemes meet long-term local housing needs, by the community retaining a legal and/or financial interest in the homes provided and ensuring they are always available to local people who need them.
  • Community-led housing is not for profit, involving considerable voluntary effort.

Self or Custom build

In general terms this is where an individual builds their own home or contracts a builder to create a ‘custom built’ home for them. Some self builders join with others as building as a collective can be more cost effective and open up more site possibilities.


Types of Community Led Housing:

Community engagement in housing, while not considered mainstream in England, has a significant history. Over time a number of established models of provision have developed their own niches. Whilst these models all have specific characteristics, they overlap to the extent that the distinctions between them are becoming increasingly academic. Community groups can and do choose to mix combinations of different models in order to address their own specific needs

Cohousing; an approach where households each have a self-contained home but residents come together to manage their community and share activities. Cohousing developments generally have an element of shared space.

Community Land Trusts; community organisations that develop housing, community facilities or other assets that meet the needs of the community. They are owned and controlled by the community and are made available at permanently affordable levels.

Community self-build; groups of households working together to build their own homes. Different models exist but the emphasis is always on supporting one another through the process.

Housing cooperatives; housing organisations where members (residents) democratically control and manage their homes. Many housing cooperatives also own their properties collectively.

Self-help housing; an approach which brings empty properties back into use for the benefit of communities.

Tenant Management Organisations; where communities manage existing homes owned by local authorities or housing associations.

Page last updated: 18 Mar 2022, 09:33 PM