Com­mu­nity schemes ‘could bring huge ben­e­fits’ in hous­ing cri­sis

Yorkshire Post - - NEWS -

COM­MU­NITY-LED HOUS­ING has the po­ten­tial to bring a wealth of ben­e­fits amidst a na­tion­wide hous­ing cri­sis, aca­demics say.

The new re­search has found that it can pro­tect tra­di­tional com­mu­ni­ties and open up new op­por­tu­ni­ties.

The study, in­volv­ing aca­demics from the Univer­sity of Sh­effield, has found that projects can bring about bet­ter out­comes for neigh­bour­hoods.

They can do so by open­ing up the hous­ing sys­tem and keep­ing in­comes within com­mu­ni­ties to be rein­vested.

It comes just weeks af­ter the first scheme of its kind was ap­proved for in the York­shire Dales, build­ing homes to rent to be held by the com­mu­nity in per­pe­tu­ity.

And such schemes, aca­demics have said, have the po­ten­tial to gen­er­ate a wealth of ben­e­fits.

“Com­mu­nity-led hous­ing has strong po­ten­tial to con­trib­ute to­wards ad­dress­ing some of the fail­ures of the cur­rent hous­ing sys­tem,” said Dr Sophie King, from the Univer­sity of Sh­effield’s Ur­ban In­sti­tute.

The Hous­ing Fu­tures study, part­ner­ing aca­demics with mem­bers of the Greater Manch­ester co-oper­a­tive and hous­ing move­ment, looked at ex­am­ples in Liver­pool and Manch­ester.

“By re­ject­ing the pri­vate right to profit, com­mu­nity-led groups can ex­ert lo­cal demo­cratic control over their hous­ing cir­cum­stances, en­abling res­i­dents to di­rectly shape their neigh­bour­hoods,” added Dr King.

“The sec­tor re­quires ap­pro­pri­ate lev­els of sup­port to meet its po­ten­tial, and to find ways to scale up­wards and out­wards while re­tain­ing au­ton­omy and in­de­pen­dence.”

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