Community Led Housing

Community-led housing is an approach to tackling housing needs in a specific area that involves the community at the heart of the process. This can involve communities working with other organisations and businesses to develop housing to meet their needs; helping individuals build their own homes; being more directly involved in building houses in the community; or a mix of initiatives.

Why people choose a community-led approach

The lack of affordable housing consistently tops polls regarding the concerns of rural communities in Scotland. Many recognise that suitable housing is crucial to sustain local services and to enable young people to remain and return to rural communities; that the local school and village shop depend on people being able to make their lives in their home communities; and that local services depend on key workers being able to access housing.

Increasingly communities are looking at community-led housing as an approach to tackling this issue.  This may include communities working in partnership with housing associations; accessing land for building plots for local people; collective self build projects; cohousing initiatives; equity share building; or building and managing homes for affordable rent as a community.

Whilst this is still relatively new ground for many communities, there are already several examples of rural communities developing their own solutions to local housing needs, and taken action themselves.  At Rural Housing Scotland, we have worked with many such communities over the years and can provide you with help and support to develop your own community-led housing project.

What is involved?

Community-led housing initiatives can be very effective in tackling local housing issues and building sustainable populations. Some communities may already own land or acquire it on the community’s behalf. Community organisations have access to financial support from official sources, but many are also in a prime position for using community share issues or income from renewables to finance housing provision.

Whilst various funding streams are available to support this work, often projects also rely on large amounts of volunteer time, especially in initial stages. Rural Housing Scotland can help you navigate the process, from ideas stage to delivery to help you build homes and a sustainable future for your community.

Find out more about the free resources on this website, and other ways we can help, on our Developing Affordable Rural Housing page.

The Guide Infographic