UK: Sources Of Finance For Community-Led Housing

Last Updated: 23 March 2018
Article by Laura Moss, Peter Parker and Emma Ridge

We have compiled a list of grants, loans and other finance options for community-led housing and co-housing groups.

We recommend that you save a link to this page as we plan to update it as we become aware of new information.

If you have any information that you would like to add, or if you discover that the finance is no longer available from any of the sources, please do get in touch with us to help us keep this resource up to date.


Locality - Two grants are available from Locality, covering pre-feasibility funding and project support.  They offer one of the only sources of grant funding for the early stages of your project.

Find out more here.

Unltd - Unltd have a number of grant programmes available for social entrepreneurs, and community-led housing has been awarded support in the past.  Check their website to see what programmes are currently open.

CLT Start Up Fund - The National CLT Network administers a grant programme to help fledgling CLTs get off the ground.  Find out more here.

Power to Change - Power to Change have recently announced an initial funding pot of £1m which will be available to help community-led housing groups get off the ground.  Further details are yet to be announced, but keep your eye on their website.

The Nationwide Foundation - Funding charitable causes in the UK. Find out more here.

Arwain Sir Benfro (The LEADER Programme in Pembrokeshire) - funding to support projects which test new ideas that benefit Pembrokeshire and contribute to a competitive, productive and sustainable economy in Pembrokeshire - Find out more here.


Government funding - The Home Building Fund offers loan finances for building new homes.  You need to be building at least five homes and interest is charged at commercial rates.  You don't need to be a registered housing association to qualify.  Find out more here.

The National CLT Network also keeps a list of government grant and loan programmes.  Find out more here.

Banks, building societies and lenders - Not all banks and building societies will lend to community-led housing projects.  Lenders to speak to include:

  • Charity Bank 
  • Co-operative & Community Finance
  • Ecology Building Society
  • Triodos Bank

Big Society Capital - Big Society Capital has recently announced £15m of loan funding available for community-led housing.  It will be distributed via other social investors and is intended to provide capital finance alongside other sources of funding.  Find out more here.

CLT Investment Fund - The National CLT Network and CAF Venturesome offer loan finance via the CLT Investment Fund.  Investment of up to £50,000 is available to help a CLT submit a planning application, which is only repayable if planning permission is granted.  Learn more here.

Affordable Homes Rental Fund - The Affordable Homes Rental Fund will lend up to 100% to Community Land Trusts or other community-led organisations that would like to build affordable homes. Find out more here.

Other sources

Finance from members - Many community-led housing groups get started with seed funding provided by members.  Groups could choose to pay interest on these loans, and/or the money lent could be taken into account on the eventual house purchases.

We recommend documenting these loans in writing, to make sure the terms are clear and prevent disputes later on.  We can help by providing a loan agreement.  Contact us to find out more.

Finance from the community - Some community-led housing groups may be able to raise funds from the community, by promoting a community share or bond offer.  You may even be able to obtain matched funding of up to £100,000, plus a £10,000 grant to help you develop your business plan, via the Community Shares Booster Programme.

If you are interested in doing this, we strongly recommend you speak to a professional advisor first.  We have advised on many community share and bond offers, so contact us to find out more.

Local authorities - Your local authority may be able to offer some indirect help, whether it's by transferring land to a community-led housing group at a low cost ("community asset transfer") or by making plots available for community-led housing through section 106 agreements (a type of planning agreement).

Make sure your local authority knows you are interested by adding yourself to their self-build register.  Find out more here.

Other places to check...

UK Cohousing Network - UKCN curates a useful list of funding sources for cohousing groups on their website.

National CLT Network - CLTs will find a comprehensive list of funding options on the National CLT Network website.

Umbrella organisations – umbrella CLTs and other regional bodies can be a useful source of advice on funding, such as CLT East.

We hope that you have found this list useful.

As stated above, we recommend that you save a link to this page as we plan to update it as we become aware of new information.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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