7.1 Models currently available

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It is often the case that those who are members or stakeholders of a particular generation of CCLH model like it so much that they will tell everyone else that they should use their model. However, no CCLH scheme should be set up based on choosing a model.

The beauty of co‑operative and community-led housing is that it is a highly‑localised method for communities and stakeholders to develop bespoke solutions that are right for them. No two CCLH schemes are the same or should be. They’ve all evolved to meet the needs of local people.

What shapes a CCLH scheme

The factors below may be some of the main criteria which will determine the detailed differences that shape a CCLH scheme:

  • whether it is intended that the scheme’s members will live in the homes developed or whether membership is open
  • to the wider community
  • the aims and aspirations of the participants
  • the intended tenure of the homes
  • the income levels of the intended potential residents
  • what potential funders will fund
  • the wishes of potential partners such as the local authority or a partner housing association

The model isn’t everything

The two key criteria that underpin CCLH – that (a) there is a democratic community membership and (b) that the membership controls at least some element of their housing – are what produces the benefits of CCLH schemes, not any particular model.

All of this makes it impossible to produce a neat diagram of models available.

  1. The distinction between whether scheme members live in the scheme or not is important, but usually only those who are legally tenants or leaseholders are able to become members.
  2. There are various types of housing co-operative – we have referred to larger housing co-ops, most of which are likely to have received some public funding, and smaller housing co‑ops which haven’t, but this isn’t a hard and fast rule.
  3. Community Land Trusts and Cohousing communities can be co-operatives, other forms of society, or companies. CLTs can potentially include housing co‑operatives or tenant management organisations.
  4. Shared ownership co-operatives are likely to be tenant management organisations.
  5. These definitions do not necessarily define the tenures that CCLH schemes offer. It is suggested that those nearer the top of the diagram are more likely to be predominantly rental schemes. Those nearer the bottom are more likely to include elements of home ownership.
  6. Housing Co-operatives can include both tenants and leaseholders.
  7. Most CCLH organisations do other things for their community than just provide housing.
  8. A further category of self-help housing relates to enabling communities to renovate empty properties, which could potentially be through any of the models shown.

As noted above, it is best to choose what a CCLH scheme is aiming to achieve rather than the model to achieve it.