Areas of work
Housing & Homelessness
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.

The Early Stage Support Programme

Kajans Women’s Enterprise received support from ‘The Early Stage Support programme’, designed in partnership with the Nationwide Foundation to provide the support required by new and existing community organisations at the start of their community-led housing (CLH) journey.

The programme has shown that early stage professional advice, peer to peer learning and grant funding is essential to support both new startup groups and existing community organisations to progress CLH schemes.

Developing affordable accommodation for young people in need of housing

Kajans a member of Soho First, a local multi-agency partnership who have developed several key priorities for this deprived area of Birmingham, including better quality housing stock and a specific need to regenerate the derelict Muhammed Ali Centre.

The Muhammed Ali Centre site was purchased by Kajans from Birmingham City Council and Kajans have developed ambitious plans to provide affordable accommodation for young people in need of housing. This includes disabled individuals, single parents and young entrepreneurs who may already be working within Kajans’ enterprise units. Kajans will provide the wrap around support that young people need to thrive as active community members.

Establishing financial requirements

Kajans Women’s Enterprise was supported to model different scenarios and understand the outline of financial requirements for developing their site. This has helped them start conversations with their Local Economic Partnership to explore local funding opportunities.

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 several costed options
  • Understand how the project will relate to the overall finances of the organisation
  • Look at what Kajans will need to before investment ready to secure both capital grant and debt finance.
  • Secure £50k from The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government’s (MHCLG) Community Buildings Fund
  • Establish a mentor with another Locality member, a trailblazer in the field of CLH who has advised them through the best legal structure for the CLH project.

Find out more about the programme

You can find out more about the Early Stage Development Programme by reading the Evaluation Report.

Read the report (.pdf)

Find out more about Community-Led Housing

Community-led housing projects are led by community groups determined to make sure that new homes are built and empty homes and buildings can be brought back into use to meet local housing needs.

If you’re looking for new ways to provide the homes your community needs, Locality can help.

Find out more