Community Led Housing

This part of RACE’s work covers both urban and rural areas of Kent and focuses on enabling community led housing (CLH) groups achieve their aims by providing advice and support. Community led housing is housing that has been built or bought back into use by local people. It has different types including Community Land Trusts, Co-housing and Co-operatives. It is a growing movement of normal people taking action and managing housing projects that create the decent and affordable homes which are so desperately needed.

Community led housing is where:

  • Meaningful community engagement and consent occurs throughout the development process. The community does not necessarily have to initiate and manage the process, or build the homes themselves, though some may do
  • The local community group or organisation owns, manages or stewards the homes and in a manner of their choosing, and this may be done through a mutually supported arrangement with a Registered Provider that owns the freehold or leasehold for the property
  • The benefits to the local area and/or specified community must be clearly defined and legally protected in perpetuity.

In Kent, there are a number of CLH groups working to provide homes for others in their community or for themselves. Shepherdswell CLT are the first to develop homes in Kent; residents moved in in March 2024. The scheme provides 10 affordable rented homes for local people, built on a rural exception site and developed in partnership with English Rural housing association.

A group of people stand in front of a house under constrction
Celebratory stone laying at the Shepherdswell site with members of the Community Land Trust, representatives from developers WW Martin and OSG Architecture Ltd with Tessa O’Sullivan from RACE and Alison Thompson from English Rural Housing Association.

For more information on CLH go to:

Homepage | Community Led Homes

Community Land Trust Network | Homepage (

Please get in touch if you have any questions or need support for your CLH project, or if you’re thinking of setting one up and would like some advice. We are Accredited Community Led Housing Advisors.