Wessex Community Assets (WCA)
Strengthening the support for community-led housing through the expansion and development of a financially sustainable infrastructure hub for Devon, Dorset and Somerset.
Why we funded this project
To provide much-needed infrastructure support to community groups in an area of the UK where there is high demand for community-led housing.
To deliver better access to information, support, advice and technical expertise that is needed to progress a scheme.
The south-west region received the highest proportion of the then Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government’s Community Housing Fund launched in 2016. The fund was initially targeted toward local authorities and provided funding for community-led housing projects. The enthusiasm and demand for community-led housing in the region resulted in Wessex Community Assets (already very experienced in delivering community-led housing support) winning contracts to provide infrastructure support to 13 local authorities.
As a result of this, Wessex Community Assets needed to expand so that it could become an infrastructure hub supporting a range of community affordable housing models. Funding from the Nationwide Foundation enabled Wessex Community Assets to recruit more staff, build its capacity and become financially self-sustaining.
In addition, Wessex Community Assets carried out action research into the best ways to provide infrastructure support, taking into account the different models of community support and tenure, such as the refurbishment of empty properties, self-build and mutual home ownership.
Towards the end of our funding, Wessex Community Assets moved its main infrastructure hub service to a separate company, whilst retaining an action research process to develop affordable housing initiatives that are more innovative and more challenging.Back to funding 2016-present