A £60m annual fund aimed at helping communities mitigate the impact of second homeownership has been launched by the government.

Almost 150 councils will be eligible to receive money from the fund, which is aimed at boosting the supply of affordable housing in areas with large numbers of second homes.

The Community Housing fund will be distributed to community housing organisations via local authorities. 

One third of the funding, almost £20m, will be allocated to councils in the south west of England, which accounts for 31% of all second home ownership.

The government said ownership of second homes in England is at an all time high. Ministers have raised concerns that first time buyers are being priced out of certain markets.

This fund will make sure community groups are at the heart of delivering new homes - Gavin Barwell

Housing minister Gavin Barwell said: “The high number of second homes can be a frustration for many who struggle to find an affordable home in their community.

“This new fund will help tackle that by boosting supply and make sure community groups are at the heart of delivering new homes so that this is a country that works for everyone.

Housing minister Gavin Barwell

Housing minister Gavin Barwell speaking at the London Property Summit earlier this year - Source: Ben Pipe/Movers&Shakers

“I saw for myself the great work community land trusts do on a recent visit to Cornwall and we want them to do much, much more.”

Triple the pipeline

The fund was developed in consultation with groups including the Community Land Trust Network, Locality, the Community Housing Alliance, and the Rural Coalition.

Catherine Harrington, director of the National Community Land Trust Network, said: “This fund could triple the 3,000 homes that Community Land Trusts alone already have in the pipeline.

“We are now looking forward to working with local authorities to help them use the funding in the way it is needed most and develop a strong community-led housing sector in their area”.

The first year of funding can be used to build capacity within local groups by improving technical skills and providing staff to review housing need. Funding the following year must be used to deliver housing.

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