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©2019 Fabric Limited CIC

It seems so obvious to create homes that are in co-designed environments, where people can live in thriving communities with shared amenities and greater social inclusion. This was far more commonplace many years ago...

Whilst most community-led housing projects are run by individual community groups determined to build the types of homes that local people need and want, we're still offering all the same benefits, but simply facilitating the process. Although we'll develop the project, we're still working directly with the community-led organisation or enterprise, offering a hybrid-type option.

The latest National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) is now supporting community and sustainable housing, allowing more sites to be considered, such as Rural Exception Sites. The Right to Build legislation is providing growing opportunities for people to build or customise their own homes. Plus there’s now more flexible mortgage products on offer.

It’s also becoming easier to set up community-led housing projects, with a wealth of knowledge-based networks and new Government funding, however the conventional process is still particularly slow and niche. Our aim is to make projects easier, deliver them faster and make these types of developments much more mainstream.

for individuals and the community

  • more choice over home quality, type and design styles

  • potentially much more affordable, but this may depend on the cost of the land

  • the option of self-governance and asset locking the value of the land in a trust for the permanent benefit of the community

  • sharing amenities, resources and services that can reduce individual household costs but also encourage more positive social behaviour

  • improved community cohesion, accountability and a sense of connection leading to long term sustainability of a community

  • greater scope to incorporate innovation and environmental design in the homes and community as a whole

 

 

for a Housing Association

  • as professional consultants we would manage the full design and specification process including the community consultation process and co-design workshops

  • almost the same timescale as a more traditional housing project - with our standardised process we can recoup most of the time allocated to the two month co-design period

  • there would be an overall carbon saving by providing lower energy homes and efficient renewable energy systems

  • tackling fuel poverty - lower energy bills for tenants can help to reduce the risk of rent arrears, helping to bolster cashflow

  • providing more appropriate accommodation that meets the specific needs of the residents, such as age-friendly or smaller micro homes

  • vast benefits to a community approach, including increased resident satisfaction and community resilience, as well as contributing to addressing social disadvantage

  • building a partnering relationship that could lead to becoming a social landlord on other projects that we're developing and extending its services into the wider community

  • an opportunity to pioneer community-focused developments on relatively small scale projects

 

for a Council

  • the opportunity to provide more affordable and/or social housing

  • if Custom and/or Self Build homes are included it would provide the ability to discharge its obligations under the Right to Build legislation

  • offering more varied market appeal to satisfy a growing demand for this type of housing

  • proven to provide greater stability in housing tenure leading to further benefits such as consistency in educational attainment for children

for a developer

  • some of the professional fees and infrastructure costs could be paid for through grants such as the Community Housing Fund

  • a growing number of loans and low-cost finance options are available to fund these types of developments 

  • if homes are built as Custom and/or Self Build projects then they will be exempt from the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL)

  • the potential for partnership agreements with land owners, where payment can be deferred until individual plots are sold

  • improved sales rates and returns from selling serviced plots, therefore improving cash-flow and less exposure to market fluctuations

  • the project would be more favourable to a Local Authority and could be included as part of a Section 106 Agreement

  • greater local public support for new homes and estate regeneration and engagement in the planning process

  • we would manage the full design and specification process including the co-design workshops

  • potentially less accountable for future defects as the homes would be commissioned and built by separate home manufacturers or they would be self-built

 

 

for a landowner

  • a greater opportunity to sell land for housing, particularly a smaller site, or where it can be classed as a Rural Exception Site 

  • a much quicker return on the price of the land (compared to other community-led projects) due to our fast-track service model

  • a more ethical approach to providing land for housing, often important when land owners live (or operate if they're a business) in the same community

  • an excellent opportunity for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) where a business or organisation can benefit society whilst boosting their own brand