The new Smith Institute report, focused on the UK, reveals the ‘advantages and attractiveness’ of community-led housing (community land trusts, cooperative housing, self-help housing, cohousing) goes beyond bricks and mortar. Although the sector needs more support if it is to grow.
This report is a timely intervention to help create the range of housing the UK needs – the UK needs community led housing. Community-led housing can address local skills gaps; tackle cultural and social barriers; nurture the local economy; reduce friction and confrontation in the planning process; and much more.
World Habitat is working to join the dots and bring people together to address many of the recommendations in the Smith Institute report. We are doing this through a 2 year project, funded by the Nationwide Foundation, to promote community-led housing and support greater collaboration across the movement.
In the UK community-led housing is too often perceived as ‘niche’; a marginal form of tenure for a, perhaps, eccentric minority. Across the world community-led housing arguably accounts for the majority of new housebuilding. Are there lessons here for the UK? Yes says David Ireland, director of World Habitat, who spoke in Parliament at the launch of the report. Read more in our press release.