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Kajans Women’s Enterprise: building affordable accommodation for young people in need

Locality is currently supporting 20 organisations to progress their plans for Community Led Housing through the Early Stage Support Programme.

Funded by Nationwide Foundation, this programme is supporting both newly formed groups and established anchor organisations to progress ideas and plans for building affordable homes or refurbishing empty properties.

Kajans development 2

Kajans Women’s Enterprise Ltd is an established community organisation in Birmingham, delivering education, training, bespoke activities for young entrepreneurs and healthy living actions, as well as capacity building support for other partners in the voluntary and community sector.

Through the Early Stage Support Programme, Kajans are being supported by Locality to develop an ambitious project to build 30 work-live pods for young people on the site of the derelict Muhammed Ali Centre,  on land leased from Birmingham City Council.

Kajans aim to provide affordable accommodation for young people in housing need, include disabled individuals, single parents and young entrepreneurs who may already be working within Kajans’ enterprise units. The project is based in Soho, an extremely deprived ward which suffers from overcrowded housing, unaffordable private rented accommodation and long social housing waiting lists. Kajans will also provide the wrap around support that young people need to thrive as active community members. Much of Kajans work is supporting BME communities with low aspirations, poor educational attainment and high levels of unemployment.

Kajans is a member of Soho First, a neighbourhood forum developing a neighbourhood plan for the area. A number of key priorities have been identified including better quality and more appropriate housing stock and a specific need to improve the environment and regenerate Kajans proposed site for affordable housing.

The Early Support Programme has helped Kajans to:

  • Develop a draft visioning document
  • Understand the external stakeholders in the project
  • Build a relationship with the planning team at Birmingham City Council, crucial to the development of their vision
  • Develop their housing allocation strategy and ensure it fits into Birmingham City Council’s housing policy
  • Develop a more detailed, rigorous business plan
  • Apply for DCLG’s pre-feasibility and project support grant funding through the Community Buildings Fund
  • Establish a mentorship with another Locality member, a trail blazer in the field of CLH who has advised them through the best legal structure for the CLH project.

Is your organisation interested in developing a community led housing project as a way to meet local needs and support the sustainability of your organisation?

Would you like to join the mailing list for the Locality members’ CLH network and be invited to regular CLH networking meetings?

If so, please email so we can talk to you about how Locality can help.

Nationwide Foundation