Citizen-Led Responses to the Housing Crisis

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There is a housing crisis in the UK, which manifests in lack of affordability, diminishing social cohesion and massive environmental impact. Community led housing is a response to this crisis, with citizens seeking to develop affordable homes that meet local need and respect the environment. It takes many forms, including co-operatives, co-housing, community land trusts, self-build and alms-houses. Key elements include the wish for democratic ownership and governance, mechanisms to make housing affordable in perpetuity, and increasing opportunities for self-provisioning, through self-build and self-finish.

Enabling hubs have been established across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, there is cross-party support for community led housing, and there is a growing body of bottom-up experience to draw on. This webinar aims to explore how you can become involved in this growing citizen-led movement.

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  • An understanding of why we have a housing crisis.
  • An introduction to citizen-led housing as a response to this crisis, its main forms and a range of examples.
  • The roots of community led housing and its recent history in the UK. 
  • An explanation of the main steps needed to develop a community led housing scheme, and the challenges you will face.
  • An exploration of how citizen-inspired housing can also address the climate crisis.
  • An understanding of the complex dynamics of the housing system, and why the price of land and housing is unaffordable for so many people. 
  • Knowledge of the different types of citizen-led housing initiatives, illustrated with case studies.
  • The opportunity to have explored the challenge of creating housing initiatives that might be seen as on the margins, and how we can navigate mainstream institutions and processes in the centre.
  • Community activists 
  • People involved in new economy initiatives (e.g. co-ops and social enterprises) 
  • Policy makers
  • Local authority officers

Tim Crabtree is a co-founder of Wessex Community Assets, which is one of the UK’s largest enabling hubs for community led housing. He focuses on research and innovation, and this links with an action research PhD he is undertaking at Plymouth University. Tim has worked for the New Economics Foundation and is the co-founder of a number of successful social enterprises including Local Food Links Ltd, Dorset Community Energy, and Bridport Area Development Trust.

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