We recognise that early support can make a huge difference in helping a new community-led housing group to become established, particularly in helping them understand the process of becoming an incorporated organisation and the responsibilities upon them. 







Many groups may require guidance and support to deal with issues such as:

  • Choosing a suitable legal form
  • Taking on roles within an organisation
  • Training
  • Realising their vision on paper as a project plan
  • Working with the wider community
  • Identifying land
  • Working out outline costings
  • Viability and project costs
  • Identifying funding sources
  • Developing a business plan and deciding the best way forward/procurement route.

This is time intensive work and requires a consistent, experienced and professional approach.

Chichester District Council offers a support service through their community-led housing officer who can offer advice and assistance on the whole process of setting up a community-led housing scheme.

Our support covers a wide range of activities including:

  • Assessing housing needs
  • Assistance with the identification of sites
  • Referral of groups to partner organisations
  • Advice and guidance on incorporation and a suitable legal format for the proposed project
  • Governance support and training
  • Organisational support
  • Business and/or project planning
  • Brokering and supporting partnerships
  • Financial review and guidance
  • Community engagement
  • Funding bid support
  • Supported visits to other similar projects

To help facilitate the development of a group we also offer a range of grant packages at different stages of the community-led housing journey.

Direct Support Grant (up to £2,000)

The Early Support Grant is available for groups that are exploring the possibility of starting a CLH organisation. It can be used to cover a variety of cost including: membership to national CLH support organisations, public consultation, draft architectural plans, publicity leaflet, media adverts, etc.

Business Development Grant (up to £10,000)

The Business Development Grant is available to groups that have assessed the need of a CLH organisation and found it to be viable. This grant is used to assist Community Led Housing Groups to understand the process of becoming an incorporated organisation and the responsibilities upon them. It is often during this period that organisations need guidance and support to deal with many issues such as choosing a suitable legal form, taking on roles within an organisation, training, realising their vision on paper as a project plan, working with the wider community, identifying land and working out outline viability and project costs and establishing partnerships. Without this early support, groups can dwindle and fall away. This is time intensive work and requires a consistent, experienced and professional approach.

Feasibility and Technical Consultancy Grant (up to £30,000)

Once a site has been identified and ownership has been secured through transfer, purchase or options agreement we can support a CLH organisation prepare for their planning application. This grant can be used to pay for architects fees, legal fees, business modelling, land surveys, transport surveys, project management and the cost of planning application.

Land Purchase Grant (up to (£10,000 per housing unit)

We also offer a grant to help with the capital costs of the project offering up to £10,000 for each unit of affordable housing built.


Further grant is accessible through Chichester District Council in the form of commuted sums, these are funds received by developers to use towards enabling affordable housing. The commuted sums could be made available towards the land and development costs of additional affordable housing units. In addition to this funding the council is looking to develop a loan fund to help cover and attract in development finance.