Eastern Community Homes
Learn more about community-led housing and see how Eastern Community Homes can support groups.
About the project
The Eastern Community Homes hub is funded (until Sep-2021) by the Ministry of Housing, Communities, and Local Government (MHCLG).
Local authorities across the East of England have been pledging their support to Eastern Community Homes, signing up and providing a financial contribution to the running of the hub, allowing us to continue to support groups in the longer term.
Why is this needed?
Eastern Community Homes is hosted by Cambridgeshire ACRE and a partnership between the six ACRE Network Members in the East of England:
- Bedfordshire Rural Community Charities (Beds RCC)
- Cambridgeshire ACRE
- Rural Community Council of Essex (RCCE)
- Community Development Action Hertfordshire (CDA Herts)
- Community Action Norfolk
- Community Action Suffolk
It is an independent, not-for profit Hub for community-led housing in the East of England, filling the gap nationally for community-led housing support in the East of England. It aims to increase the supply of community-led housing, primarily affordable homes, to meet local needs in the area covered by the Hub and support community groups in fulfilling their visions for community-led housing, whether this is through Community Land Trusts (CLTs), cooperatives, co-housing schemes, self-help housing, group self-build, or almshouses.
Accredited Community-Led Housing Advisors provide tailored support to the community-led housing groups. Eastern Community Homes also works closely with the community-led housing team at the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority. There is also a wider network of technical advisors including solicitors, ethical lenders, planners, and architects available for advice and consultancy. Connections with local authorities are also vital, with existing county-based housing partnerships providing solid foundations for partnership working.
There are numerous benefits of community-led housing, which include:
- Community involvement leads to a better perception of housing developments.
- Local homes for local people, addressing the direct community need.
- Homes can be made genuinely affordable for local people.
- Community ownership of local assets in perpetuity.
- Projects are not limited to housing but can include elements which benefit the whole community.
Community-led housing can also have close links to neighbourhood planning. With neighbourhood plans able to put in place statutory planning policy framework for an area, including community-led housing can have real benefits when it comes to communities bringing forward schemes. You can find out more about the links between neighbourhood planning and community-led housing through Locality.
How can you get involved?
If you are part of a community-led housing group that may require support from Eastern Community Homes, you can sign up to the hub.
What impact has our work had?
Some of the key impacts the hub has, and aims to have in the future, include:
Watch a video about Eastern Community Homes
Find out how Eastern Community Homes can support your community to achieve its housing goals. Hear from the Hub Co-ordinator, Jenna Brame, and accredited advisors for Essex, Laura Atkinson, and Norfolk, Rik Martin. The video also features Peter Lock from Uttlesford District Council in Essex and two groups currently being supported by the Hub: Thaxted Community Land Trust and Rebel Acres.