Call issued for new, urban, CLH movement

A CALL has been issued for the establishment of a new, urban community-led housing movement in Scotland.

It follows the publication of a ‘vision document’ (here) on the subject, by the Scottish Land Commission and South of Scotland Community Housing.

Says the chair of the SLC, in the document’s foreword: urban, community-led housing could potentially mirror recent community-led initiatives in rural locations.

Writes Ailsa Raeburn: “We are yet to see any significant urban community-led affordable housing replicating the success of rural projects.”

She continues: “As we start to emerge from the pandemic, we are seeing changing High Streets; rising house prices; an increasing focus on tackling vacant and derelict land; the presence of new mutual aid community groups and a sense of urgency around the climate emergency. Urban housing can help to address many of these issues through communities leading on the development of new uses for old buildings and derelict sites, bringing life back into towns and cities. 

“The opportunity for communities to be involved in housing-led urban regeneration was recognised by the Scottish Government in [its] keystone Housing to 2040 strategy (here). Action 4 gave a commitment to ‘explore how we can support more community-led housing in urban areas’.”

The authors believe that urban, community-led housing could:

* Create a new pipeline of affordable housing in Scotland;

* Energise and build confidence in communities that have been subject to top-down development and sub-standard housing;

* Support a community wealth-building approach;

* Tackle High Street decline;

* Bring vacant and derelict land and empty homes back into productive use;

* Financially underpin the development of mixed-use developments; and

* Lead the way on low carbon housing, as has happened with rural community-led housing.

Picture credit: Place Design Scotland