About Community Led Housing

Community led housing is inspired and controlled by the community. It can take many different forms but basically, it’s built by the community to meet the needs of the community and is not for profit.

This page introduces some approaches to community led housing. For more information see the new national website communityledhomes.org.uk.

Here are some different approaches to community led housing:


Community Land Trusts

Community groups that want to develop permanently affordable housing for their community can from a Community Land Trust (CLT). CLTs are community-controlled organisations that can own and develop land for housing and other community uses. The National Community Land Trust Network has a wealth of information on CLTs and what they can deliver and you can find out more by reading our briefing note written for parish and borough elected councillors.


  • A rural CLT: Wickham CLT in Hampshire, started by villagers, developed eight homes for villagers in partnership with a housing association.

  • A city CLT: London CLT emerged from a campaign for more affordable homes. It has partnered with developers to develop its first 23 affordable homes is now working to develop homes at several other sites across London.

  • A market town CLT: Keswick CLT, started by members of Churches Together, has developed affordable homes across three sites in Keswick.


Groups that want to develop affordable homes for themselves can form a self-build group. Self builders don’t necessarily build the homes themselves, but they do at least organise the building. We are running a series of pilot workshops to support self-builders and we intend to roll out this support across Surrey sometime soon. Get in touch if you’re interested. The Self Build Portal has information for people looking to start self build.


People who want to develop their own community should consider Cohousing – Housing made up of private dwellings and shared communal facilities. UK Cohousing explains how this works. OWCH (Older Women’s Cohousing) is a great example of cohousing.
Look at the short film.

Self-help housing

Groups that want to provide accommodation for people in need of homes can consider Self-help Housing. This is bringing empty properties into use as homes. See self-help-housing.org for information.


People who what build or manage their own homes together can choose to join or create housing cooperatives. This is a way of tenants democratically controlling the management or development of homes. The Confederation of Co-operative Housing explains this type of housing management