A people-powered solution to the housing crisis
Community led housing offers a people-powered solution to the housing crisis, a way for people and communities to come together and solve their own unique housing challenges. It results in high quality, affordable homes, managed or owned by the community however they want.
What are the benefits?
Community led housing provides:
- Innovative projects based on open and meaningful community participation, delivered with the cooperation and consent of residents
- The chance for a community group or organisation to own, manage or steward homes however they decide
- Much-needed housing developments with tangible, legally-protected benefits for either the local community, a specific group of people, or both.
Bringing people and communities together across our region
Kent has a large demand for new housing. This is driven by an exceptionally high level of second home ownership, our close proximity to London, our relatively small urban centres and significant areas of deprivation, especially within some coastal communities.
Across urban and rural areas alike, people face a wide range of housing issues, such as a grave shortage of homes, general affordability, rising private rents and limited housing provision for younger and older people. Kent also has twice the national average of homes sitting empty, making local housing needs even more difficult to meet.
A real alternative to the private rental market
For the thousands of people who can’t afford to buy their own home, many find themselves renting instead. But with steady increases in rents, taxes and utility bills, people are often forced to move more often than they like. What’s more, with the gap between rents and wages widening, people are resorting to housing benefits to meet the difference - only to discover landlords are increasingly unwilling to accept benefit claimants as tenants.
Together, this creates high levels of housing insecurity, which in turn has an enormous impact on people’s quality of life and their overall health and wellbeing. It also has a knock-on effect on access to childcare, local shops and services, informal support networks and getting help around the home. In other words, it diminishes any sense of community and the feeling of control people have over their own lives.
Looking ahead to a brighter tomorrow
As part of the Community Led Homes Enabler Hub Grants Programme, we’re in a unique position to help motivated groups start tackling all these issues head on. By encouraging projects for community led homes and empowering people to see them through, we’re doing everything we can to fight inequality and take our region to a place of greater inclusivity, stability and fairness.