Over the next three years, the Nationwide Foundation will partner with the Scottish government and invest a total of up to £940,000 in two community-led housing trusts. The investment will help the Scottish government deliver good quality and genuinely affordable homes in Scotland.
The Nationwide Foundation is a charitable foundation that works to tackle the root causes of social issues in Scotland and the rest of the UK by making the housing system work for all, particularly those most in need. Through its Decent Affordable Homes strategy, it supports the development and delivery of safe, secure, and genuinely affordable homes.
The Foundation has made long-term commitments to funding community-led housing projects because it believes that if delivered at scale, they would offer a genuine alternative to mainstream forms of development that often fail to deliver affordable homes. Community-led housing initiatives are grassroots-led and have the potential to disrupt the existing system through their bottom-up approach. The homes delivered are available to people unable to afford the open-market price and are usually kept affordable in perpetuity.
From CHT’s community-led development in Staffin (credit: Staffin Community Trust)
The Scottish government’s investment is part of its Rural, Remote and Island Communities Housing Action Plan, which focuses on delivering homes in rural, remote, and island areas and is informed by the government’s Housing to 2040 strategy, Scotland’s first national housing strategy that aims to provide safe, good quality, and affordable homes for all of Scotland.
Providing expert advice and funding
The two trusts receiving funding are Communities Housing Trust and South of Scotland Community Housing – awarded £160,000 and £158,800, respectively. The funding will help both organisations to continue educating communities about the benefits of community-led housing and ensuring groups identify the affordable-housing solutions that best meet their needs, as they support projects through each stage of developing their housing scheme.
The new grants – and the Scottish government’s funding – will support both trusts until June 2026, helping them continue to serve their existing pipeline of community-led housing projects. Additionally, both organisations will work in partnership to raise awareness of the community-led housing model, demonstrate its viability, and build its political support. They’ll also focus on securing long-term funding for the sector.
Ronnie MacRae, CEO at Communities Housing Trust, said: ‘CHT are delighted with this funding announcement and would like to thank both funders for recognising the huge impact community-led housing makes. With this funding, we can work with a wider range of communities and assist them in increasing the pipeline of affordable housing projects and the community capacity to deliver a wide range of affordable housing tenures, making a real difference to the affordable sector.’
Mike Staples, Chief Executive at South of Scotland Community Housing said: ‘SOSCH are delighted to receive this new funding package and continue our positive relationship with the Nationwide Foundation. The grant will allow our organisation to continue expanding community-led housing across southern Scotland, engaging with more communities and helping deliver more projects. It will enable us to sustain and strengthen our team, improving the resources available to community organisations to tackle acute housing pressures. We look forward to working with the Nationwide Foundation and the Scottish government over the next three years.’
From SOSCH’s Closeburn passive project (credit: Tom Manley Photography)
Tackling the barriers to genuinely affordable housing in Scotland
The Nationwide Foundation believes that community-led housing has the potential to disrupt the mainstream model of housing provision and tackle the barriers to providing genuinely affordable homes in Scotland.
Samantha Stewart, interim chief executive at the Nationwide Foundation, said, ‘Together, these two projects address significant barriers to delivering genuinely affordable housing in Scotland.
‘Community-led housing can be a workable alternative for delivering truly affordable housing which, if delivered at scale, offers a viable alternative to mainstream commercial development. The conditions for the community-led housing sector to grow in Scotland are strong, and we believe that the work of Communities Housing Trust and South of Scotland Community Housing, which we’ve funded for several years, will help realise this aim.’
To keep up to date with the progress of these and other projects funded by the Nationwide Foundation to change the housing system, follow @NationwideFdtn on Twitter.