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Funding boost for community-led housing

The Welsh Government has awarded £540,000 over the next three years to Cwmpas (formerly Wales Co-operative Centre) to continue its growth of the Co-operative and Community-led Housing sector in Wales. The Nationwide Foundation has also agreed to continue with its funding until 2025 with a further investment of £408,539.

The funding will help to scale up the Communities Creating Homes programme delivered by Cwmpas, which has set ambitious targets within its new five-year strategy to double the number of groups taking forward co-operative and community-led housing (CCLH) in Wales – to include 150 new low-carbon homes completed, and a development pipeline for a further 250 homes.

Climate change minister Julie James said: ‘I am pleased we have been able to increase funding to the community-led housing sector and continue a joint programme with the Nationwide Foundation. Community-led housing must remain a part of the housing solution in Wales, our support for the sector is as strong now as it was ten years ago and the commitment set out in our Programme for Government reaffirms this.’

Gary Hartin, the Nationwide Foundation’s programme manager, said: ‘Community-led housing can be a workable alternative method for delivering genuinely affordable housing. It can create homes that local people need in the places where they want them. The conditions for this to happen are strong in Wales and by continuing to fund Communities Creating Homes, we aim to cement the sector’s position as well as increasing the supply of decent, affordable homes.’

Jocelle Lovell, director of inclusive communities at Cwmpas, said: ‘Co-operative and community-led housing plays an essential role alongside councils, developers and investors to create affordable homes in Wales which meet local community needs and support future generations. The funding from the Welsh Government and the Nationwide Foundation is critical to building on the excellent progress that has already been made in this area.’

The Communities Creating Homes team have been supporting Tir Cyffredin (Common Land) in Machynlleth since 2020. With CCH the group learnt how to set up a housing co-op, raise capital through a mortgage and community funding (£280,000 in total) and buy their house. None of the residents had any previous experience of home ownership, setting up a co-op or raising funds. With help from CCH they have taken control of their housing situation guaranteeing at least seven extra affordable rooms to let for decades to come. CCH also helped them raise £8,000 to remedy urgent damp work identified in a survey removing the risk of damp related illness and helped them apply for further funding to reduce the impacts of fuel poverty and carbon emissions.  

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