Chelmsford City Council

Community-led housing

We are offering local groups the opportunity to apply for a grant to build community-led affordable housing in Chelmsford.

Community-led housing projects are where local people come together to build the types of homes that the local community need and want.

We have put over £20,000 into the fund, to match money from central government. The scheme will help to increase the number of homes in the area that local people can afford.


Community groups can use the grant money to:

  • set up a community organisation
  • train group members
  • get help to develop a project plan
  • carry out studies to support a new development proposal
  • identify other sources of funding and complete bid applications
  • publicise their project
  • consult with the public on proposals
  • meet project development costs
  • meet construction costs

We will only grant funds to groups who can show that:

  • they have involved the community in key decisions throughout the process
  • they are taking a long-term, formal role in owning, managing or looking after the homes
  • they will use the funding to permanently meet the needs of the local area and/or a specific group of people
  • the housing they provide will be affordable (as defined by the National Planning Policy Framework)
  • they are, or are applying to become, incorporated as a not-for-profit company

Your group doesn't necessarily have to manage the development process, or build the homes, although you can if you wish.

Apply for a grant

There is no limit on how much money you can apply for. However, the total funding available is just over £40,000.

When you apply, you will need to tell us:

  • about your group
  • about your proposals
  • why you need the money
  • what other funds you have applied for and/or secured
  • how much support there is in the local community for your project

The deadline for submitting applications is 12 noon on Friday 11 January 2019.

We will let you know if your application has been successful or not a month after the closing date.

After you have send us your application, our Planning and Housing Policy Team will assess it. Our Director for Sustainable Communities will make the final decision in consultation with our Director of Finance.

If we receive more applications than we can fund, we will assess the merits of all applications before deciding on how to allocate the money.

We are more likely to approve your application if you can show that:

  • your proposals have a high level of community support
  • your project can offer value for money, such as having secured funding through other sources


If we do not allocate all the available funding, we will run a further round of bidding at a later date.

If we grant you funding, you will need to enter into a grant agreement with us. This is so we can ensure you spend the funding in line with the bid we have approved.

The agreement will set out:

  • the exact arrangements for paying out the grant
  • what the grant can be used for
  • details of the work you plan to do
  • how we will monitor your project
  • why we could withhold or suspended the grant, or ask for you to repay it

We can provide a generic sample agreement on request.

You will need a registered bank account for us to pay the money into. If you have not yet fully constituted your group, or it doesn’t have a bank account, we will hold the funding until you are ready.

As part of the application process, you will need to confirm that your proposals comply with the Equalities Act 2010. You will also have to confirm that they do not discriminate against any protected group.

Under Freedom of Information laws, we may have to provide details of your application and our assessment of it. We will remove your personal details before releasing any documents.

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