Setting up a community-led housing project

You could be an individual, an emerging group or an organisation setting up a community led housing project, and the reasons for doing so will vary from group to group.

It might be that local people want to bring more affordable housing to the area, or a parish council calls for a steering group to form following a housing needs survey, or a bunch of friends want to live together in a more sustainable way or in a way that protects their long-term independence to live alone in self-contained accommodation but with other people around for company, support and skill swapping.

While the motivations for a beginning a group may differ, each project can generally be broken down into five separate stages: Group, Site, Plan, Build and Live Stage.

There are several national organisations which offer a wide range of online support to help guide groups through these stages.  

Group Stage:

  • The group stage is forming a steering group, more members are recruited if necessary, a clear purpose and goals are agreed, a legal structure for the group is chosen and a business plan developed.

Site Stage:

  • Whether your group is searching for a site or you already have one in mind, this is the point at which your group begins investigating any potential problems, costs and raising the money to pay for it.

 Plan Stage:

  • This is when your group needs to produce a planning application, which will have to include details for the homes and any additional facilities like communal facilities/shared gardens.
  • Well considered plans and significant positive support from the wider community will help when you reach the planning committee stage.

Build Stage:

  • Your group does not have to physically build the homes, although you can! Just as with traditional housing, groups can hire a contractor to complete the work. Some groups also choose to partner

Live Stage:

  • The bit everyone has been waiting for! For some groups they will be living in the homes themselves, for others they will now be landlords or working with a managing agent.

The Resource Centre

This has information for setting up any type of group, not just community led housing groups. 

There is advice about getting people involved in your group, deciding the purpose of your group, and agreeing a set of rules or principles that will govern your group. It provides practical information about things you may need to do, such as open a bank account and allocate roles in the group, and information about legal structures

Resource Centre | A really useful place for community groups

Community Led Homes

This is an organisation that is all about CLH with lots of valuable information. 

Find out about all of the stages of CLH

How to do it | Community Led Homes

Or visit their website to access a wide range of information about CLH.

Homepage | Community Led Homes

My Community

This is a website created by 12 leading community support organisations who have combined their knowledge and skills to provide access to support and advice in one place about lots of community sector projects, including CLH, to help you with the latest tools, tips and ideas to make your community an even better place to live.

Home - MyCommunity

UK Cohousing

Helps support cohousing across Britain, with links on their website to up-to-date guidance, information and a directory of projects.

Home - UK Cohousing Network

To arrange a chat about the possibilities for your group and/or community, with no ties, commitments or obligations send an email to