A council-backed project where community groups can bid to develop and manage their own affordable homes is holding its first workshop for local people looking to get involved.
As part of the council’s wider drive to boost the borough’s housing supply, Croydon’s cabinet approved a project in January offering council land and technical expertise to local groups wanting to develop their own community-led affordable homes.
Before the bidding process opens in April, the council is hosting a workshop on Saturday 16 March so local people can learn about the process and what makes for a successful bid.
The workshop for up to 50 people is open to any Croydon residents interested in the scheme, including local groups with no experience of community-led housing. Those attending the free event, from 10am-12pm at Croydon Art Store in the Whitgift Centre, will receive updates including:
- An outline of how community-led housing schemes work
- Information on the first two of the council-owned pilot sites coming forward – one in the north of the borough and one in the south
- What support and funding is available
- Advice on how to bid
- The support and advice available to winning bidders
Attendees will also get the chance to hear from a representative of a Lewisham community group that is building its own local community-led housing scheme.
When it launched in January, the Croydon Council initiative was praised for having “some of the best policies in the country” by the National Community Land Trust Network, which encourages local people nationwide to develop their own homes.
Groups that submit successful business cases to Croydon Council will have the option to receive design and logistical support from Brick by Brick, the council-created developer that is finalising its first homes, plus construction support if their schemes receive planning permission.
Since being set up by the council in 2016, Brick by Brick has received consent for more than 1,000 homes so far on over 40 sites, almost half of which are designated affordable. Other council-backed housing initiatives include the creation of Croydon Affordable Housing, a charity set up to manage more than 500 newly-refurbished homes for households to move from temporary accommodation.
Councillor Alison Butler, Croydon Council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for homes and Gateway services, said:
“While the council and local developers are rightly playing a big role in building good-quality new homes in Croydon, we also want to help local people make their housing ideas a reality.
“Community-led housing schemes work, and I look forward to the council working with Croydon people to bring forward homes that they have created and run.”
To register for the event, visit the Eventbrite booking website.