Checking in with the CLH Groups Network

Checking in with the CLH Groups Network

24th February 2022

Picking up conversation with colleagues in the Community Led Housing Groups Network was fun yesterday! If you want to join our next conversation (23 March) please drop me an email and I’ll send you the link.

As we often do, we talked about the environmental impact of planned homes and how we can work with partners (housing associations, local planners and developers to name a few) to make sure that the end result of our efforts is good homes which will be comfortable to live in, affordable to heat and which will not need expensive retrofitting in the next five years.

The work Lune Valley CLT are doing with South Lakes Housing is a great example of a forward-thinking partnership of this sort. They’ve made a terrific video for anyone who wants to know more about building affordable homes to passivhaus standard. Well worth a watch:

In Cumbria, Local Government Reorganisation is seen as a potential challenge for keeping small voluntary groups on track while officer support is stretched and reshaped. But there are opportunities too; the need to maintain local connection and engagement is widely recognised as crucial throughout the process and into the new structures.

Another topic which came up included the opportunity (and challenge) of working with authorities at the scale of Garden Village master planning; how do community voices come together to inform development where the housing will effectively ‘create’ the community? We look for experience from other parts of the country for this, as major planned developments just outside Carlisle and Lancaster grapple with community input.

Motivating communities to get stuck into housing conversations includes not only finding the right people to speak with, but also having a vision of what is possible. This little network group is a really friendly place to learn from people who have already built successful projects, and from those who are just finding their feet. They are also helping to draw together a CLH ‘manifesto’ document to inform and inspire. Watch this space, or join in!

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