Championing community-led housing and planning
How we can help
Cambridgeshire ACRE works with local authorities, housing associations, town and parish councils and communities to build circa 50 rural affordable homes annually. Our work specifically looks to benefit those that could not have otherwise afforded a home of their own.
Eastern Community Homes, a project facilitated by Cambridgeshire ACRE, provides group support with community-led housing approaches across the East of England. Cambridgeshire ACRE also has a number of staff who are qualified community-led housing advisors ready to help groups progress their plans.
We also offer housing needs surveys, which inevitably find hidden housing need in most of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough’s rural communities. These allow local authorities, housing associations and communities to state a clear case for affordable and community-led housing need when investment and planning decisions are being made.
Our team can provide expert and qualified planning advice to those communities considering, or who have already commenced, a Neighbourhood Plan. We can provide support to neighbourhood planning groups at all stages of a plan’s development, from considering if a plan is right for your community, through to the referendum stage and successful adoption by the Local Planning Authority.
Eastern Community Homes
Cambridgeshire ACRE is a partner in, and the lead body for, Eastern Community Homes, the advice and support hub for groups interested in affordable community-led housing in the East of England.
Eastern Community Homes provides a range of services to community-led housing groups including initial group set-up, governance, business planning, funding, development and communications & marketing.
Cambridgeshire ACRE’s role is to lead the development of the hub, as well as provide its core staff team.
Rural Affordable Housing
Cambridgeshire ACRE supports rural communities to address issues of importance. High house prices and the need to save a large deposit put home ownership out of reach of many people.
With salaries disproportionate to property prices, the next generation is finding it hard to live and work in the places they grew up in. As the social diversity of our communities changes, local services such as shops, healthcare services, schools, social centres and public transport are under threat.
Being proactive about bringing affordable housing into your area is a responsible and effective way to ensure your community’s survival, by providing subsidised housing for local people who can’t afford property on the open market.
Properties can be made available to rent or for shared ownership at less than market price.
Cambridgeshire ACRE can help you meet the needs of your community by:
Cambridgeshire ACRE leads and facilitates the Cambridgeshire Rural Affordable Housing Partnership, that brings together local authorities and registered social providers to support the delivery of affordable housing across the county.
Housing Needs Surveys
Our high quality, impartial and robust housing needs surveys are tailored to meet the needs of each client.
We work with our clients, ranging from parish councils and local authorities to housing associations and private developers, to undertake housing needs surveys, provide housing needs assessments and produce independent reports.
They can be used to:
Cambridgeshire ACRE is a leading provider of neighbourhood planning support in Cambridgeshire. We provide a bespoke, not-for-profit planning consultancy service by working closely with local planning authorities to ensure that our clients receive quality support and advice.
The Localism Act 2011, for the first time, gave communities the ‘right to plan’. This ‘community right’ gives people the power to form their own land-use planning policies. Once adopted, a neighbourhood plan becomes part of the local authority development plan and is used in determining planning applications alongside the national planning policy framework and the relevant local plan.
We provide support with:
Our team of neighbourhood planning experts have assisted over 20 groups with the preparation of their neighbourhood plans.
Here are a selection of case studies relating to our work championing community-led housing and planning.
Dates for your diary, for events by service click to the relevant service page
News and publications
As part of Rural Housing Week 2021, Cambridgeshire ACRE joined members of the Rural Housing Alliance in promoting a new Parish Councillors’ Guide to Affordable