A longstanding strategic partnership between the local authority and the CLH sector – Brighton & Hove Council

Posted on 10th November, 2017

Brighton & Hove City Council (BHCC) has a long history of supporting community-led housing (CLH), with relationships built over many years. It has integrated CLH into its strategic approach to increase housing supply.  A pilot scheme will show that CLH can create additional affordable rent homes at no cost to the HRA by building on a small challenging council site. BHCC is planning further measures to increase support for CLH.

BHCC is an urban authority with a growing population and high housing demand. Affordability is a challenge and there are limited opportunities for new development. The CLH sector is a partner for improving housing supply and is represented on its strategic housing partnership. The City Plan Part 1 states that opportunities for CLTs, community-led development, right to build and housing co-operatives will be identified as the council assesses potential housing sites.

BHCC works through a network of housing co-ops to meet shared goals. Measures to encourage CLH include enabling access to land and helping co-ops identify private sector empty properties. Council officers provide advice and support on issues such as business modelling, pre-planning application advice and developing external funding bids.

A fully mutual housing co-op is starting a self-build housing scheme to develop two homes for affordable rent. The council has leased a small, challenging former garage site for £500 a year, which is best consideration. Project costs will be met by the co-op’s loan and loanstock from other co-ops. These homes will be available for council nominees in perpetuity at no cost to the HRA.

BHCC’s main barriers to encouraging CLH are a lack of resources to explore/expand development; limited availability of land, and affordability. It plans to use its Community Housing Fund allocation to set up a new enabling hub to address them, expanding the CLH sector and providing more homes.

Full Case Study: Brighton and Hove CLH