OCF is working with Oxford City Council, Community First Oxfordshire and Oxfordshire Community Land Trust to explore options on how community-led housing could be delivered sustainably within Oxford.
The initiative is part of a national scheme to support the promotion and delivery of more Community-Led Housing (CLH). In March this year, the city council received £54,000 from the government’s Community Housing Fund, and has commissioned this study to:
- Examine and establish the needs for community-led housing in Oxford
- Undertake a feasibility study of how community-led housing can be practically delivered in Oxford
- Identify viable opportunities and routes to delivery
- Identify financial mechanisms for delivery that are sustainable
- Provide technical advice that can be shared with community-led housing groups.
A report on the study will be available in autumn 2018.
CLH is about local people playing a leading and lasting role in delivering solutions to local housing problems, creating genuinely affordable homes and strong communities in ways that are difficult to achieve through mainstream housing development. Community Land Trusts, co-operative housing, cohousing and community self-build are examples of CLH.
To contribute towards the study, Community First Oxfordshire is hosting a series of outreach events around the city over the coming months. The first event on 5th October was a working discussion with existing Oxford CLH groups, and networking among interested members of the public. Details of forthcoming events will be published in our events calendar.
Fiona Mullins, Development Project Manager at Community First Oxfordshire, said: “In Oxford we have spiralling housing costs, younger people unable to buy a first home, high levels of commuting and homelessness. Community-Led Housing schemes such as Community Land Trusts and co-housing are a key part of the mix of solutions needed. Community-led development can lock in affordability in perpetuity, attract long-term patient finance, deliver homes of the type, size, tenure and quality that people want, promote positive attitudes towards new housing and act as a catalyst for the regeneration of neighbourhoods.”
Councillor Mike Rowley, Oxford City Council’s Board Member for Housing, said: “We are very pleased to be supporting this study and getting the community involved in finding sustainable solutions to affordable housing delivery. Our housing crisis can’t be solved by the City Council on its own, although we are leading the way. Many others have a part to play – Oxford’s businesses, developers, private landlords, universities, and not least, co-operative and community-led initiatives. We aim to work together for an affordable City made up of sustainable and thriving communities.”
OCF will contribute to the study by bringing the perspective of potential private funders for community-led housing schemes. This project builds on OCF’s Oxfordshire Uncovered research, which identified housing and homelessness and a key issue affecting the county, and Oxford city in particular.