Finance for Sustainability (funding complete)

Funding at a glance

Programme: Backing Community-Led Housing
Amount: £45,000 grant
Approved: 2018
Timescale: Five months
Status: Funding complete

Pilot investment fund to acquire land on behalf of community-led housing groups.

Why funded this project

This project designed an investment fund to reduce the instances of community-led housing groups missing out on acquiring suitable plots of land, because they were simply not in a position – due to capacity or capability – to secure the land themselves in a timely manner.

The fund was able to purchase the land quickly, on behalf of community-led housing groups, and then release it to them once they are ready to proceed, having finalised design and secured planning permission. After the affordable homes were built and sold, the community-led housing groups could repay the fund. This helped groups by removing the need for them to have the finance available upfront, in the early stages.

Strategic purpose

To increase access to land and properties not currently used as homes and to increase the availability of suitable and affordable finance.

Project description

This five-month grant went toward the Land and Building Bridge (LABB) project, which aimed to develop a £10 million pilot investment fund to acquire land on behalf of community-led housing groups and hold it for them until they are ready to purchase it themselves. The intention was that investment would be recycled and reinvested, so that multiple groups could benefit.

The feasibility stage of the LABB project was undertaken (funded by Power to Change). Together, Power to Change and Nationwide Foundation funded the second stage, which was to design the fund. This included the development of a full business plan and investment strategy, identifying how the fund should operate and be structured.

The LABB team sought guidance from stakeholders from the community-led housing sector, as well as experts in acquiring land and on the legal status of such a model.

LABB was run by Finance for Sustainability, an organisation that connects new forms of investment to social issues in the UK.

Finance for Sustainability

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