Community Housing Fund

Status: Open to applications
31 December 2019

Description

Grants are available for a wide range of community-led organisations to support delivery of new affordable homes across England (excluding London) up to March 2020.


Details 

Fund Value: £ 163,000,000

Value Notes 

The total budget for this fund across the two phases is £163 million and will cover a two-year period.

There is no strict cap on the amount of grant funding.


Extended Description

The Community Housing Fund is provided and administered by Homes England.

The objectives of the Fund are to:

  • Increase housing supply in England by increasing the number of additional homes delivered by the community-led housing sector.
  • Provide housing that is affordable at local income levels and remains so in perpetuity.
  • Deliver a lasting legacy for the community-led housing sector in the form of an effective and financially self-sustaining body of expertise within the house building industry in England.

The Government is working with the Greater London Authority (GLA) to develop a similar scheme in London.


Latest Information

Applications will be accepted until the funding is fully committed or until 31 December 2019, whichever occurs first


Key Criteria

Bidding is open to all organisations which are, or intend to become, constituted as a body corporate, or an equivalent form of constituted body.

Eligible organisations include (but are not restricted to) the following:

  • Registered charity.
  • Company Limited By Guarantee.
  • Community Benefit Society.
  • Co-operative Society.
  • Community Interest Company.
  • An organisation of another type operating as a social enterprise and principally reinvesting their surpluses for social benefit.
  • Registered Provider.
  • Local authority.

Local authorities or Registered Providers may apply on behalf of community groups and, in those cases, the lead bidding organisation will remain directly accountable for the funds, where appropriate.

Because Phase One does not entail the provision of grant directly towards the construction costs of affordable housing, it is not a requirement for organisations bidding under Phase One to be a registered provider of social housing.


Eligability Expendeture

In order to ensure that the schemes supported by the Community Housing Fund are truly community-led, proposals should ensure that:

  • Meaningful community engagement and consent occurs throughout the development process. The community does not necessarily have to initiate and manage the process, or build the homes themselves, though some may do.
  • The local community group or organisation owns, manages or stewards the homes and in a manner of their choosing, and this may be done through a mutually supported arrangement with a Registered Provider that owns the freehold or leasehold for the property.
  • The benefits to the local area and/or specified community must be clearly defined and legally protected in perpetuity.

There are two phases to this Fund.

Phase One of the Fund is broken down into two principal elements:

  • Applications for revenue funding for capacity building and pre-development costs, including revenue grants to local authorities to support community groups.
  • Capital bids for associated infrastructure costs which will support community-led housing development.

Examples of eligible uses of grants include:

  • Revenue costs
    • Community group capacity-building, including seedcorn funding to get started.
    • Project-specific professional fees and costs, including feasibility work, design work.
    • Planning applications, business planning and project management.
  • Capital costs for infrastructure.
    • Development of associated infrastructure which will support community housing development, which may include:
      • Access roads/roundabouts to open up a site.
      • Site remediation or flood attenuation.
      • Utilities.

Phase Two is for capital funding to support the costs of building new community-led housing schemes that covered under the second phase of the Fund.

In addition to the costs listed above, funding will be also available to local authorities who wish to support community groups looking to develop community-led housing proposals in their areas; for example, to employ staff to provide advisory services, information and support to groups.

Eligible organisations may apply for one or more of the elements of the Fund.


Application Procedure 

The Fund will remain open to receive new applications until funding is fully committed (or until 31 December 2019, whichever occurs first). This will allow bidders the time to work up their proposals before applying.

Bid assessment will be carried out continuously throughout the funding period, and dependant on the level of bids received it is anticipated that the decision making process on a full application would take no more than six to eight weeks from the time of the initial bid submission.

The prospectus can be found on the GOV.UK website. All organisations applying to the Fund will be required to submit details of the proposed activity through the Homes England bidding portal: https://bids.homesengland.org.uk

Applicants should direct any questions about the Fund or how to bid by email to Homes England at communityhousingfund@homesengland.gov.uk. Bidders should note that where questions raised may be of general applicability to all prospective bidders, these and our response will be published on the Homes England GOV.UK website.

Contact Homes England for further information.


Addresses and contacts

Application forms may be available on their website.

 
Contact details:
Enquiries
Homes England 
Windsor House 
42-50 Victoria Street 
London 
SW1H 0TL
Telephone:
0300 1234 500
Email:
communityhousingfund@homesengland.gov.uk