There are many organisations that can provide funding for the various stages of your project.
Some of this funding will be in the form of grants which will not need to be repaid, but the majority of development finance will be in the form of loans, which will need to be paid back.
An excellent summary of the type of private, community and public funding available from national organisations to support all stages of community-led housing projects is provided by the National Community Land Trust Network.
A national charity the NCVO manages a database of funding which you can access at;
The Nationwide Foundation, an independent charity has recently agreed to fund a number of enabling services. It hoped to launch a new open grant fund for communities some time in 2018.
Local Authorities in the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding area may also be able to provide financial assistance to community groups to develop projects. Check the position in your area by contacting your Council’s Rural Housing Enabler or Housing Support Officer, who can be found here;
Free advice and support may also be available from some charitable organisations including your local Rural Community Council.
For North Yorkshire you can contact Community First Yorkshire.
For East Riding you can contact Humber and Wolds Rural Action.
You may also be able to get some support from local charities such as:
Hambleton – Hambleton Community Action:
Harrogate – Harrogate & Ripon Centres for Voluntary Service:
Ryedale & Scarborough – Coast & Vale Community Action:
East Riding – East Riding Voluntary Action Services (ERVAS) Ltd:
Selby – Selby District Association for Voluntary Service:
A typical community-led housing project will need funding at three stages:
STAGE 1: Getting Started
Support is available to help you to agree the sort of organisation or group you want to be and how best to work together, how to find a site and what sort of project that you are looking to develop.
Some of this support may come from your local Rural Housing Enabler but the Community Land Trust Network also provides information on the types of organisations that may be able to provide funding to help you with this stage.
Stage 2: Business Planning (sometimes called the pre-planning stage)
When you have chosen a site, and decided what type of housing scheme you want to develop you are likely to need expert advice to find out if the site can be used for housing, the development of a detailed scheme and help to apply for planning permission.
Funding is available from various sources, but to access this most organisations are likely to ask you to prepare a Business Plan to demonstrate that you have a credible and deliverable proposal. Some of the issues that you will need to consider at this stage can be found in the links below;
To access funding at this stage, you will normally be expected to be legally formed as a group .
Stage 3: Development
Once planning permission is agreed for your scheme you will need funding to buy the land and pay for a builder to build the houses. Most community groups will require expert advice to help them manage this process to make sure that the land is being bought at the right value and the houses are built to an agreed standard and within your budget. Funding for this stage will often be available as a loan which will be based on your groups’ ability to pay back the loan from rents or sales of the houses. Some communities also raise their own funding through a community share issue.
You can find out more about community shares from the following organisations;
If the loan is not enough your local Council may be able to provide a grant if it has funding from the Community Housing Fund. You can find out more by contacting your local council using the link below;
You should always seek independent financial advice before taking out any loans. We are unable to recommend or promote any particular lending organisation. Loans can be offered by any lending organisation but there are Ethical Banks which specialise in this type of project such as Charity Bank, the Ecology Building Society, Unity Trust Bank and Triodos Bank. Some schemes have also been known to use funding from Social Investment Funds such as those offered by Big Society Capital, Resonance and the Charities Aid Foundation.
The Government’s national housing and regeneration agency, Homes England also provides development finance through its Home Building Fund. This finance is provided in the form of a loan to support developments of 5 homes or more. Further information can be obtained by using the link below;
Homes England also provides grant funding for affordable housing. You will need to be registered with them as a Registered Provider which can be complex and time consuming. Homes England produce a manual for this which can be found using the link below;
An alternative that you may wish to consider would be to work in partnership with a Housing Association.