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Wales Co-operative Centre – Join the conversation

The Communities Creating Homes second annual community-led housing festival, CLHFest21, takes place online between Monday 18 October and Thursday 21 October. Here’s what’s happening when.

Through a mix of webinars, panel discussions and workshops, the conference will explore how we can continue to grow the community-led housing movement in Wales and deliver more affordable housing for local people, creating resilient, sustainable and cohesive communities.

Monday – Co-designing communities  (10:00-12:00)

Placemaking involves a holistic approach to the planning and design of development and spaces, adding social, economic, environmental, and cultural value to development proposals resulting in benefits which go beyond physical characteristics. This session will explore the role communities can play in planning, delivering, and managing vibrant places. We’ll be joined by Katherine Quigley, social investment manager at the Nationwide Building Society, who will share her experience of community organising on their new development of 239 homes in Swindon, and Aimee Felstead, PhD researcher from the University of Sheffield, to give us a practical example of how cohousing schemes can get involved in placemaking.

Encouraging diversity and inclusion (14:00-15:30)

Join us as we discuss how a broad and diverse range of communities can benefit from CLH with speakers including Claude Hendrickson (Leeds Community Homes), Maria Brenton (OWCH/Own Place) and the Pride of Place project.

Tuesday – Taking back control: community owned land and assets (10:00-11:30)

Land ownership and the cost of land is accelerating the housing crisis in Wales. Join us for a discussion on how land in Wales can be better utilised to provide more affordable housing for local people. We’ll hear about how community-led housing schemes in Scotland have taken advantage of the community right to buy and how some local authorities across the UK are developing innovative land disposal policies for community developments. More info to follow…

Communities creating change (18:30-20:00)

Join us to explore why it’s important to engage with your community and how to approach community engagement. Paul Stepcazk, bids and commercial consultant at Wales Co-operative Centre, will provide practical advice and guidance on identifying your own skills to help you engage with the surrounding community, identify key people to talk to and share the tools you need for a successful engagement plan.

We’ll be joined by Nudge Community Builders who are a great example of how local volunteers engaging with their community can achieve amazing things.  Nudge Community Builders was set up by local people to grow and build on their knowledge and experience to make a real difference in their area to make sure that the community benefits from changes in a unique and special way.  They’ve transformed run-down buildings in Plymouth creating community-led spaces that invest in the surrounding community every step of the way.

Wednesday Community-led housing: 101 (10:00-11:00)

Join Claire from the Communities Creating Homes team to discuss how Community-Led Housing can bring people together to decide what kind of homes and communities they want to live in.  We’ll be talking about different Community-Led Housing models, sharing some case studies and giving you an opportunity to talk about what you want to do.

Wayshaper: the CLH decision-making toolkit demo (11:30-12:30)

Join us for a demo of the latest tool to help groups develop their community-led housing.

Influencing your Local Development Plan (14:00-15:00)

Anyone can get involved in local planning by responding to the Local Development Plan for their area.  This practical session will help you identify how and when to effectively exercise your influence on local planning policies including housing, the environment and local infrastructure.  Join us and Planning Aid Wales to hear about how getting involved in the development of the Local Development Plan at an early stage can help community-led housing groups build a positive relationship with their local planning authority.

Social Media and Community Engagement (15:30-16:30)

Social media can be a powerful tool for community-led housing groups to recruit members and supports, to share their story and to engage with their community. This webinar, delivered by Nick Moylon, Digital Communities Wales training officer, will:
– Discuss the benefits of social media for community engagement.
– Give an overview of different social media platforms and their strengths for connecting with an audience.
– Discuss privacy and online safety when using social media platforms.

Co-ops night (18:45-21:30)

18:45-19:45 Simin Wadiwala introduces co-ops, housing co-ops and student housing co-ops. This session has a focus on student housing co-ops but will be relevant to anyone who wants to learn something new about housing co-ops.

19:45-20:00 Break, chat, chill

20:00-21:00 Financing your housing co-op with Andy Woodcock. Housing co-ops need a financial plan and most of us know very little about finance! Andy is here to let you know what you need to think about and how to plan for long term success.

21:00-21:30 Stick around for a chat and questions. Hosted by Allan Shepherd.

Thursday – The future of community-led housing (11:00-12:30)

Join us for a discussion on the future of community-led housing in Wales. We’ll be hearing about how the CLH movement is being scaled up across the UK and beyond, while Julie James, minister for climate change will be outlining her vision to grow the movement in Wales.

Sustaining Welsh Communities (14:00-15:30)

Following another Summer of staycationing, Wales has seen the biggest rise in house prices in the UK, which some say is a direct result of the rise in second/holiday homes. Pressures are being most acutely felt in coastal and rural areas, where some locals can no longer afford to live in their communities. Combined with increased demand for rural living as a result of more people embracing working from home, it seems getting on the property ladder has never been more difficult. Community-led housing can be a part of the solution. Join us as we hear from communities across Wales who are taking action to tackle the crisis and develop their own innovative solutions to deliver more affordable housing for local people.

Community-led housing mixer (18:30-20:00)

Join us for a virtual community-led housing mixer. We’ll hear from a number of community-led housing projects in Wales, at varying stages of development, about the opportunities and challenges they have faced. There will also be an opportunity to chat and network with each other.

For more details about CLHFest21 and how to book a place, visit wales.coop/community-led-housing-fest-2021/

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