We all know the housing crisis is one of the biggest challenges of our times. We can help you support your community to build new and affordable homes in your local area. Community-led housing (CLH) is about local people playing a leading and lasting role in solving housing problems, creating genuinely affordable homes and strong communities in ways that are difficult to achieve through mainstream housing.

It gives local people the opportunity to build the types of homes they need, for example, homes for young families who would otherwise be forced to move in search of lower prices, or homes for older people who want to downsize without having to look outside the areas they have lived all their lives.

Crucially, CLH is a key element of communities taking control through the ownership and management of assets, and provides an important driver for economic regeneration and social enterprise.

It is an achievable option for many neighbourhoods but it currently represents only 1% of the total housing market, compared to our European neighbours where up to 10% of homes are community owned and managed.

If a new wave of community-led housing could be inspired, it could make a clear impact on the housing crisis and help to deal with some of the following issues:

  • The high cost of new homes – outside the reach of many of the individuals and families on low incomes.
  • The rising cost of private renting and the often poor conditions they offer, again affecting the individuals and families most in need of low cost, decent homes.
  • The overriding lack of any access to decent affordable housing for those at the margins of society and the related problems that beset communities when access to decent, affordable accommodation is unavailable, for example, poor health, low educational attainment, and crime

Our Board is community-led which means that decisions that we’ve made about refurbishments and new builds have been done in conjunction with the community.

SGOHT is a partner in a network of over 100 community organisations and other stakeholders like (West Midlands police/YMCA/Erdington Methodist Church/Highcroft Community centre/Marsh Hill allotments etc.) working together to make Stockland Green a better place to live.

SGOHT is only one of these organisations set up when this network made clear their concern about the lack of quality housing available to Stockland Green residents.

This was community based housing as a community based solution to a community problem.

Useful Links ~

https://locality.org.uk/about/

http://www.cltfund.org.uk/

https://www.bigsocietycapital.com/what-we-do/investor/investments/community-led-housing-facility

Copeley Hill was a street that was the site of a bomb explosion during WWII that destroyed a number of the houses leaving the sites affected derelict and abandoned.

The street was later cut in half by the construction of Spaghetti Junction in the 60’s and became disconnected from the rest of Stockland Green and the empty sites became overgrown, a target for fly tipping and an eye sore.

In 2017 SGOHT unveiled a new development of 14 3 and 4 bed family homes, breathing life into a once derelict spot. The development was taken forward as a result of input from the Stockland Green Ward Advisory Board’s desire to see more good quality affordable homes in the local area.

The development was so popular that over 650 expressions of interest for these homes were received and the BBC feature it on their website.

Now Copeley Hill is a cul de sac that is populated by families and is part of the regeneration of Stockland Green.

Read the full story here.

 

Highcroft Community Centre is located at Slade Road in Stockland Green, it is registered charity that aims to respond to the needs of the local community, providing a space where people can take part in activities that improve their wealth health and wellbeing.

In 2014 a number of volunteers and users of the center successfully applied for a long lease of 25 years under Birmingham City councils’ community asset transfer programme. The group submitted an ambitious business plan secure the long-term future of the building, raise their profile within the area, and deliver sports and activities to promote community cohesion.

The Highcroft committee did a great job of moving closer to these aims but the volunteers recognised that to take their ambitions to the next level they would need to seek help from a partner whose values were similar to theirs. SGOHT has been working closely with Highcroft over the last year and the committee decided that they wanted to work with us. We are now about to enter an exciting partnership with Highcroft Community Centre to run the centre on behalf of the trustees.

SGOHT’s vision is to maximize the room bookings, modernise the facilities, look at bar options and eventually work towards a wider use of the sporting facilities, all to the benefit the local community.

The centre has a number of rooms for hire and sporting facilities i.e. a bowling green and cricket pitch for community use, 7 days a week from only £10.00 a week.

Together with Highcroft, we are busy deciding what we need to do first but we will let you know what our relaunch plans are and how you can be involved.

To find out more follow our Facebook page or visit the Highcroft Community Centre website.

If you’d like to be part of the discussion about community led housing in Stockland Green, please contact Cheryl Dockery, SGOHT Chief Officer, on 0121 748 8174 or cheryl.dockery@pioneergroup.org.uk