Leeds Community Homes has begun a new 12-month research project, exploring current practices and issues in England affecting Black and Minority Community Led Housing, in collaboration with the University of Liverpool and Sheffield Hallam University (CRESR).

The research aims to:

  • understand and examine the community-led housing sector’s approach to development led by black and minority ethnic communities.
  • identify local, regional and national barriers and obstacles for organisations and communities led by black and minority ethnic groups interested in developing community-led housing.
  • collect and examine examples of good practice.
  • produce a set of recommendations at local, regional and national levels to encourage more community-led housing led by people from black and minority ethnic communities.

It will produce a set of recommendations for sector representatives, funders, and policy makers at local, regional and national scales, with the aim of encouraging growth and transformation of the black and minority community-led housing sector.

The researchers will be speaking to national policymakers, funders, stakeholder organisations and decision-makers, the national community-led housing sector, local projects and their partners, and people that have tried, delivered or are hoping to deliver community led housing schemes.

The research is funded by Community Land Trust Network, Nationwide Foundation, Tudor Trust, Power to Change, East Midlands Community Housing, Communities CAN, Community First Oxfordshire, Durham Community Action, Kent Community Housing Hub, and Cheshire Community Council, and supported by Confederation of Co-operative Housing.

It is being co-ordinated by Leeds Community Homes in partnership with Claude Hendrickson (Leeds Community Homes), Henri Baptiste (Pathway Housing Solutions), Yael Arbell (Sheffield Hallam University) and Tom Moore (University of Liverpool). It is a collaborative project between community-led housing practitioners and academics with research experience in this area.

All participants will be asked to complete a participant consent form, giving their agreement for the data and information they provide to be used for the project. The project has ethical approval from the University of Liverpool, which means that it has been agreed that it is designed ethically and will be conducted in a manner that abides by the University’s research ethics procedures.

For more information on the research process, please contact Tom Moore at the University of Liverpool: Thomas.moore@liverpool.ac.uk.

Henri Baptiste and Claude Hendrickson, who are leading the researchers on the project, said:

“We’re doing this to build a stronger understanding of what challenges and barriers BME communities face. We want to build on existing knowledge in this area by examining existing policy and practice to see what implications this has for BME communities in developing/accessing community led housing schemes, and by working with existing BME led organisations to explore good practice and ways in which barriers can be overcome”.

Tom Moore, Senior Lecturer at the University of Liverpool, said:

“Evidence shows that BME communities disproportionately experience forms of housing disadvantage and exclusion. This research, based on collaborative research between practitioners, academics and communities, will provide an in-depth understanding of the opportunities and challenges that community-led housing offers in tackling these issues.”

Yael Arbell, research associate at CRESR, Sheffield Hallam University, said:

“The research finally addresses a topical issue I faced both as a community-led housing researcher and as a practitioner; BME communities have everything to gain from community-led housing and yet they are marginalised in this sector. I look forward to seeing what our collaborative research will find and the positive impact it can have”.

Blase Lambert CEO of Confederation of Co-operative Housing said:

“CCH welcomes the research into diversity and leadership in the community led housing sector. It will highlight what is great about the sector while challenging where the sector needs to do more”.

Gary Hartin, Programme Manager at the Nationwide Foundation said:

“We are proud to fund this work. To date, there is very little existing research in this area and this will be the first time that the barriers, challenges and issues facing black and minority community-led housing have been explained.”

Tom Chance, CEO of Community Land Trust Network said:

“I’m delighted to be supporting this research project. Community Land Trusts originated from the civil rights movement in the USA, and over the pond the struggle for racial justice is central to the CLT movement. But English CLTs first took off in the rural south west with a focus on affordability for local people. Despite their spread into cities and towns we’ve not seen many Black-led CLTs, and too few CLTs in areas with large Black communities have much representation or involvement on their Board. I’m looking forward to better understanding the barriers, including any we are creating ourselves, and the Community Land Trust Network is committed to following through on the findings.”

Steve Hoey, Leeds Community Homes said:

“We are pleased to be supporting this initiative through involvement on the steering group and by being the fundholder. Diversity issues are important to us and we are excited about this research; we hope it will help us all understand and overcome the barriers that BME led CLH projects face”. 

The research will be completed during 2023 with a series of Round Table Workshops, followed by a presentation of the findings and recommendations.