Following shortly after Neil’s presentation at the recent Good Homes Alliance Vanguard Event, Jonny Anstead took part in another GHA event exploring alternative models that put communities at the heart of housing delivery. Drawing on Marmalade Lane, Jonny explained how TOWN, together with its partner Trivselhus and the wider team, had worked closely alongside members of K1 Cohousing to plan and deliver the 42-home development.
Also speaking at the event was Nigel Kersey from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, who outlined how the forthcoming second round of the Community Housing fund is likely to enable community groups to deliver more sustainable housing in their areas at lower prices, together with various representatives of the community land trust sector.
Unlike at previous GHA events where the focus has been primarily on improving standards of sustainability in the building industry, the discussion here focused on delivering more affordable housing at the local level.
A key theme emerging was that of councils disposing of land for community-led housing, and the tension between achieving affordability and social outcomes on one hand and obtaining best consideration in terms of land price on the other.
Relevant to this was the example of Marmalade Lane (pictured), where Cambridge City Council achieved a balance between these competing outcomes by determining first the wider outcomes that it sought (in this case, a cohousing scheme), and then selling it in the open market to ensure it gained the best consideration for its asset (but on the basis that any developer would be obliged to deliver the cohousing outcomes).