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Is there a future for Community-led Housing in rural West Midlands?

Published: 8th Oct, 2018

Is there a future for Community-led Housing in rural West Midlands?


Is there a future for Community-led Housing in the rural West Midlands region? Delegates who attended Shropshire RCC's conference on the issue would answer - an overwhelming yes!

People from across Hereford and Worcester, Warwickshire, Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin and Staffordshire met on the 19th September in Albrighton, near Wolverhampton, to hear from a wide variety of speakers on all aspects of community-led housing. 

The conference was organised on behalf of regional ACRE Network partners by Shropshire RCC and funded by the Nationwide Foundation. It was part of a series of training events held in rural regions around the country to share knowledge among local authority councillors and staff (such as planners and housing enablers), parish and town councils, housing association staff, developers, surveyors, architects, land agents and anyone else with an intermediary role in this field.

The panel of expert speakers and exhibitors presented on topics including the different models and governance, legal aspects, funding and the role neighbourhood planning can play in the delivery of community-led housing. Several case studies were also shared where pitfalls and lessons learned were explored. Nancy Winfield from the newly formed Herefordshire Centre for Community-led Housing gave a short progress update and Tim Shrosbree from Shropshire Council shared details of their 'Right Home, Right Place' initiative. The day concluded with a lively question and answer session with previous speakers and Sarah Patrice from Anthony Collins Solicitors.

Finally, several delegates from across counties where there is currently no central specialist support available, including Shropshire and Warwickshire, announced their intention to continue conversations after the conference. They identified an opportunity to investigate future support for groups wanting to explore, or even implement, community-led housing. 

The agenda can be viewed here and the presentations can be downloaded below.  

Welcome and introduction to the day - Paul Dixon (ACRE)

The National Picture

Why Community-led Housing is needed - Ian Crawley

What is happening and changing? - Tom Chance (NCLTN)

Accessing the Community Housing Fund - Sarah Streater and Rik CooperSmith (Homes England)

Community-led Housing in detail

Bishops Castle Community Land Trust - our local bank - Jonathan Brown (Bishops Castle CLT)

The Cooperative Advantage - Carl Taylor (Accord)

Community-led Housing through the Community Right to Build route - Ian Crawley (Nailsworth CLT)

Making Community-led Housing happen

Delivering Community-led Housing through Neighbourhood Development Plans - Jeff Bishop (Place Studio)

After the event delegates said:

"Very informative presentations from passionate presenters"

"Good opportunities to network with colleagues"

"Good mix of stands and attendees, keep up the good work"

"Excellent speakers, so much knowledge in the room"

Have a look at these comments and posts on Twitter to get a further flavour of the event. 

And finally, if you would like to be added to the public Basecamp discussion forum (where people from around the country will be discussing community-led housing matters) please email p.dixon@acre.org.uk 


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