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What is community-led housing?

Community-led housing is designed and managed by local people and built to meet the needs of the community – not for private profit.

Builders constructing a house

There are lots of different models of community-led housing:

  • cohousing
  • self-help housing
  • cooperative and tenant controlled housing
  • community land trusts
  • projects run by community anchor organisations, like Locality’s members.

Visit our community-led housing policy page.


Creating affordable local housing

Community-led housing is a way for local communities to provide their own decent and affordable homes.

Community-led housing is often designed to help certain groups – for example young people, older people, or those in need of affordable family homes. It’s often eco-friendly and sustainable.

Housing can be rented to local people at affordable rates which are kept low over the long-term, or sold to create income for the community.


Community-led housing is growing fast

Community-led housing currently represents about 1% of the UK’s housing stock – but the sector is growing fast.

Our report Small Scale Community-led Housing, contains more about the growth of the sector – and features the work of 10 community-led housing groups around England.

Recent changes in the law have aimed to help support community-led housing. For example the Community Right to Build gives communities the opportunity to gain planning permission without needing to ask the local authority.


How can my community build housing?

If you’re interested in the benefits community-led housing can bring to your neighbourhood, get in touch for advice (particularly if you’re part of an existing community-led group). Email us at

Another great place to start is our resources page. Make sure you have a look at the community-led housing toolkit over on the My Community website.

If you need some inspiration, great examples of community-led housing include: