Community Housing Scotland

Welcome to the Community Housing Scotland’s Webpage

Since 1998, Highlands Small Communities Housing Trust (HSCHT) and more recently trading as Community Housing Scotland (CHS) out- with Highland, have been driving forward and facilitating a wide range of community-led housing initiatives. But what does this term ‘community-led housing’ really mean?

Community-led housing is about local people playing a leading and fundamental role in solving their specific housing problems, creating genuinely long-term, affordable homes and strong, resilient communities in ways that are difficult to achieve through mainstream housing alone.

It is a broad movement encompassing a range of approaches, including Community Groups, Development Trusts, cooperatives, co-housing, and can involve new build, self-build, regeneration or the use of existing buildings.

Community-led housing is supported by the Scottish Government through the introduction of the £30m Rural and Islands Housing Fund which enables community groups to access grants to part-fund community-led housing projects. Find info about the Rural Housing fund here.

Here are the core principles of community-led housing:

  • It is a requirement that ongoing community engagement occurs throughout the development process.
  • The community does not have to initiate and manage the development, or build the house themselves, although some do.
  • The local community group or organisation owns, manages or stewards the homes in a way that suits them.
  • It is a requirement that the benefits of the scheme to the local area and/or specified community group are clearly defined and legally protected in perpetuity.

Community-led housing has many benefits including:

  • It provides additional supply that would not be available through mainstream housing delivery;
  • Generates community support for new homes;
  • Helps diversify the house building types and tenure options in communities.
  • Assists the local economy and trades provision;
  • Empowers and builds capacity within community groups and sets a positive example to others;
  • Helps to attract financial investment to communities;
  • Improves spaces and the built environment;
  • Provides choice for older people needing age appropriate housing;
  • Gives younger people an opportunity to realise their housing ambitions;
  • Supports sustainable and economically vibrant communities;
  • Helps people afford to rent, buy or build their own homes;
  • Supports an innovative approach to partnership working and to providing solutions;
  • It can support social and economic growth in the community.

We believe in this people-powered movement and what it can achieve and are working closely with other organisations. We are supported by the Nationwide Foundation to raise public awareness, support groups to deliver and to create better conditions for the sector to grow.


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