New fund launches to give house-building power back to local people

A new housing fund has launched, aiming to empower community groups, enabling them to plan and build 1,000 affordable homes in communities across England. The fund, led by CAF Venturesome, the social investment arm of the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF), is funded by a group of charities and benefactors including the Nationwide Foundation.

The fund pools resources and gives money to community groups providing new homes, helping them with loans, standby facilities and grants. As well providing support for construction, an element of the fund also helps groups purchase land – a considerable barrier when trying to build homes in some communities.

Community-led housing models have grown rapidly in recent years. Since 2008, two similar funds have provided more than £5m in social investment to build 190 affordable new homes, with 470 in the pipeline.

“We launched this new fund in response to the increasing demand from community groups to deliver affordable housing,” comments CAF Venturesome’s Holly Piper. “People want to live in a community where they have easy access to family support, good employment opportunities and where house prices are affordable for locals. Too often, that’s not the case.”

Gary Hartin, Programme Manager at the Nationwide Foundation said: “We’ve worked with CAF Venturesome since 2008 on funds like this, and we’re delighted to be a part of this project over the next five years.

“The Nationwide Foundation believes that everyone should have access to a decent home that they can afford, and by providing money like this, the CAF Venturesome fund will make affordable new homes a reality across England.”

The CLH Fund is open for applications for loans, standby facilities and, in partnership with Power to Change, grants at every stage of the project. Supporters of the fund include the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, Power to Change, the Tudor Trust, Nationwide Foundation, CAF and several individual philanthropists.

More information about this funding