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What is Community-led Housing?

Community-led Housing is when communities come together to develop the homes which are needed in their local community. This housing can be for rent, low cost homeownership, or for sale, but it is designed to be always affordable for the community that needs it. Anyone can start, volunteer or deliver a community-led housing project. 

There are a number of well established, recognised models which some communities chose for their Community Housing Scheme. However, many communities find they develop a new model which best suits their own individual needs. A strength of Community Housing is in its flexibility, click on the headings to find out more.

Co-operative housing

“Co-operative and mutual housing schemes have community membership. Those who live in the homes are required or are encouraged to become members, and the community membership is able to democratically control the housing organisation.” Confederation of Co-operative Housing.


“Cohousing communities are intentional communities, created and run by their residents. Each household has a self-contained, private home as well as shared community space. Residents come together to manage their community and share activities.” UK Cohousing Network.

Community Land Trust

“Community Land Trusts (CLTs) are a form of community-led housing, set up and run by ordinary people to develop and manage homes.  CLTs act as long-term stewards of housing, ensuring that it remains genuinely affordable, based on what people actually earn in their area, not just for now but for every future occupier.” National Community Land Trust Network. 

Self-help housing

“Self-Help Housing involves groups of local people bringing back into use empty properties.” Self-help-housing.org

Some communities chose to partner with a Registered Housing Provider - the Council or a Housing Association, for example - to deliver and manage their Community Housing Scheme. Specialist organisations provide additional support for rural communities and for communities with particular needs, such as elderly or disabled people for example.