The ACRE Network promotes Community-led Housing as part of the solution to addressing housing need in rural communities
by Chris Cowcher,

The ACRE Network, England’s largest network of rural support organisations, has received funding from the Nationwide Foundation to run a series of training events in 2018. These events will increase the knowledge about community-led housing in rural communities, and help more residents to consider the local potential for such a project to address housing need in their area.

"At a time when meeting housing need is a country-wide priority, we hope to empower more rural communities to consider whether they can themselves provide some of the housing their local community needs."
  • Nationwide Foundation has provided £78,750 funding to the ACRE Network to run community-led housing training events for intermediaries in 2018
  • The project will be run by 9 members of the ACRE Network to promote and encourage take up for the training in all areas of rural England

The aim of this work; which will involve training intermediaries such as planners, land agents, architects, councillors and community organisations, is to ensure that communities are aware of the opportunities community-led housing could offer in addressing locally identified housing need. Each training session will cover a range of topics relating to community-led housing and will provide those in attendance with a competent understanding of the topic.

The outcome of the ACRE Network community-led housing training will be that rural communities have access to a greater number of knowledgeable champions. The training will also link with other national programmes and organisations offering accreditation for community-led housing advisers. This will ensure that communities can access the best professional advice and expertise to progress a local scheme.

Those attending the training will learn about the different models of community-led housing, the finance involved, assessing local housing need and the availability of funding from the national Community-Led Housing Fund. It will also increase understanding of the time it takes to get a community-led housing project through to completion. Events will feature case studies from existing and live community-led housing projects, and offer the opportunity to network and develop contacts with those who are currently working in the sector.

Richard Quallington, ACRE Executive Director said:

We are delighted to be working with the Nationwide Foundation to address a knowledge gap when it comes to Community-led Housing. At a time when meeting housing need is a country-wide priority, we hope to empower more rural communities to consider whether they can themselves provide some of the housing their local community needs. The ACRE Network training programme will give the attendees the confidence to facilitate conversations at a local level, and if appropriate signpost the community to an appropriate source of support to progress their project.

A full calendar for the ACRE Network led Community-Led Housing training will be available on the ACRE website. Please follow ACRE on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for other updates.