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Growth Board receives commitment for more community-led housing from Government
17 March, 2021

The Oxfordshire Growth Board has received a commitment for more community-led housing (CLH) from the Government.

Emily Smith, Chair of the Growth Board, and Susan Brown, Chair of the Housing Advisory Sub-Group, wrote to the Housing Minister Robert Jenrick about the Community Housing Fund.

The fund supports CLH, which enables communities to develop local, affordable housing that meets their needs.

These houses are typically of a high quality both in terms of design and construction.

Not only that but long-term stewardship of the properties and resident engagement enhances wellbeing and the majority of groups aim to deliver additional amenities to communities such as access to green space, renewable energy infrastructure or community venues such as sports facilities, shops or workspaces.

Oxfordshire already has some examples of community-led housing – Stonesfield CLT is one of the oldest community land trusts in the UK, owning and managing 15 homes in West Oxfordshire.

In the letter, Cllrs Smith and Brown offered the Board’s support and encouragement for the extension of the Community Housing Fund.

Christopher Pincher, Minister of State for Housing, replied confirming £4m had been made available nationally to reopen the Community Housing Fund, with officials currently considering how the funds should be most effectively deployed.

The Minister also added organisations that registered as providers of social housing may seek capital funding from the Shared Ownership and Affordable Homes Programme.

You can read the full letter here.

It comes as a report into how Oxfordshire can support delivering more affordable CLH was published.

The report – commissioned by the Oxfordshire Housing and Growth Deal and funded by Homes England’s Community Housing Fund – identified and reviewed the three key elements of funding, access to land and technical support which often act as barriers to community housing groups.

You can read the report here.

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