In a surprise Xmas announcement, the Government has allocated money, thought to be around £400,000 per year, to Oxford City Council to spend on community-led housing.
Local Green Councillors, who have been championing various community housing models, community land trusts, co-housing, housing cooperatives and so on, have welcomed the announcement.
Says Green County Councillor David Williams, who is supporting a community housing bid for part of the SS Mary & John school site in his own division:
The Labour-run City Council have failed to back several community led housing bids for fear of undermining the development of social housing. In reality, most sites suitable for community housing would otherwise have gone for luxury, market housing - not social units. Somewhat ironically, it could be an initiative from the Tory Government that encourages the City Council to look more favourably at community-led schemes in the future. There are several suitable sites in my Division alone that the City Council have currently designated for market housing that would be ideal for community-led schemes.