£948,000 Investment Boosts Community-Led Housing in Wales

Published on: 19 July 2022
by KnowESG
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Cwmpas (previously Wales Co-operative Centre) has been awarded $540,000 over the next three years by the Welsh Government to support the growth of the co-operative and community-led housing sector in Wales.

Additionally, the Nationwide Foundation has decided to maintain funding through 2025 with an additional expenditure of £408,539.

The funding will help scale up the Communities Creating Homes programme delivered by Cwmpas, which has set ambitious targets within its new five-year strategy to double the number of groups advancing co-operative and community-led housing (CCLH) in Wales, including the completion of 150 new low-carbon homes and the development of 250 more.

Julie James, MS, Minister for Climate Change, said: 

“I am pleased we have been able to increase funding for the community-led housing sector and continue a joint programme with the Nationwide Foundation.

“Community-led housing must remain a part of the housing solution in Wales. Our support for the sector is as strong now as it was ten years ago, and the commitment set out in our Programme for Government reaffirms this. All sectors in Wales face challenges in these unprecedented times, and community-led housing is no different, but we remain committed to working together to overcome barriers together.”

Gary Hartin, the Nationwide Foundation's Programme Manager, said:

“Community-led housing can be a workable alternative method for delivering genuinely affordable housing. It can create homes that local people need in the places where they want them. The conditions for this to happen are strong in Wales, and by continuing to fund Communities Creating Homes, we aim to cement the sector’s position as well as increase the supply of decent, affordable homes.”

In Wales, the community-led housing sector is made up of several options that are tailored to the needs of a specific community. Small groups of friends buying a property to share, leaseholders, forming a tenant management committee, community members purchasing local land on which to build new housing, and people interested in developing sustainable homes are all examples.

Since 2012, Cwmpas has supported and championed the rise of community-led housing, and it is now delivering the Communities Creating Homes programme to further boost demand for CCLH across Wales.

Jocelle Lovell, Director of Inclusive Communities at Cwmpas, said: 

“Co-operative and community-led housing plays an essential role alongside councils, developers and investors to create affordable homes in Wales which meet local community needs and support future generations. The funding from the Welsh Government and the Nationwide Foundation is critical to building on the excellent progress that has already been made in this area.

“People want to have more control of where they live and work with others to achieve a shared goal. They like the fact that the co-operative and community-led housing models are flexible to meet many needs and any tenure – so the outcomes are often more successful. We know that every project is different – so our support is tailored to the needs of each community. Whether you’re new to co-operative and community-led housing, have already formed a group or want to join an existing group, we want to help.”

The money will enable Cwmpas to continue as Wales' only Co-operative and Community-led Housing (CCLH) Hub, providing the sector with a voice, support, and expertise. Cwmpas will continue to exert influence on a local and national level to reduce the barriers that many groups confront.

Source: Business News Wales

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