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What support is available for community-led housing groups?

22 September 2022

We signpost useful resources for CLH groups that will assist whether you are at the beginning of your journey or a well-established community.

Setting up a new community-led housing group can be a challenging process with lots of thorny issues to resolve. What legal structure corresponds best to the aims of the group? What is a community land trust? How will the group fund the purchase of land and how will that purchase be structured? Should you put a members’ agreement in place? What kind of bank account should we open?

At Wrigleys we have been advising community-led housing projects for over thirty years and understand and value these unique projects. Some of our team are also involved in their own community-led projects and have first-hand experience of practical issues that may arise. We advise on all aspects of a community-led housing project’s development, from setting up a legal entity to drafting leases for tenants and everything in between. If you are at the beginning of your CLH journey, please contact us for a copy of our ‘Guide to Legal Structures for Community-Led Housing’, which outlines the various options which are available.

There is also a thriving community-led housing support sector and the list below signposts readers to potentially useful resources and networks. Whether setting up a new community-led housing group, or looking for support for an existing group, the following organisations are well worth exploring.  One of the best starting points will be your local CLH hub, which will have a bank of advisers and other resources to help you on your way.

Community Led Homes – search for your local CLH hub and find information on potential funding opportunities:

https://www.communityledhomes.org.uk/find-your-local-hub

Community Led Homes – toolkit with key considerations for your project:

https://www.communityledhomes.org.uk/community-led-housing-toolkit

UK Cohousing – umbrella body for the sector:

https://cohousing.org.uk/

National Community Land Trust Network – umbrella body and resource hub for community land trusts:

https://www.communitylandtrusts.org.uk/

The Confederation of Co-operative Housing – advice and resources for co-operative and community-led housing organisations:

https://www.cch.coop/

Locality - support for all types of community organisations:

https://locality.org.uk/

Lilac Co-Housing Community – a prominent example of a Mutual Home Ownership Society (MHOS) that provides useful resources for groups interested in this structure:

https://www.lilac.coop/resources/

Co-ops UK - central membership organisation and umbrella body for co-ops, which can provide model rules and sponsor applications:

https://www.uk.coop/resources/model-governing-documents

In addition to the above, if your group is looking for funding, the following lenders specialise in supporting charities and community-based organisations:

https://www.ecology.co.uk/

https://www.triodos.co.uk/

https://www.charitybank.org/

We also recommend researching existing communities to find out more about how community-led housing can work in practice. Examples of groups with useful websites include Lancaster Cohousing, Cannock Mill Cohousing, On The Brink Cohousing and Marmalade Lane.

Finally, we can provide bespoke governing documents for most types of CLH structure. We view our relationship with CLH groups as mutually beneficial; we aim to learn from each other whilst further developing the legal framework for this way of living and owning property, and growing its presence across the UK.

If we can assist with the development of your CLH group please don’t hesitate to contact us.

If you would like to discuss any aspect of this article further, please contact Dan LewisLaura Moss or any other member of the community-led housing team on 0113 244 6100.

You can also keep up to date by following Wrigleys charities team on Twitter here and sign up to receive our dedicated community-led housing newsletter here.

The information in this article is necessarily of a general nature.  The law stated is correct at the date (stated above) this article was first posted to our website. Specific advice should be sought for specific situations. If you have any queries or need any legal advice please feel free to contact Wrigleys Solicitors

 

 
 
 

 

 
 
 
Daniel  Lewis View Biography

Daniel Lewis

Solicitor
Leeds

Laura Moss View Biography

Laura Moss

Partner
Leeds

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