Understanding the processes of scaling-up community-led housing

Phillipa Hughes


Philippa’s research explores the factors involved in the development of the community led housing sector in England. The project investigates the role of the wider environmental, political, and social factors in enabling led housing development and the role of professional support for community groups in growing the movement.


Community led housing is, broadly, any housing in which community members have significant and ongoing engagement in the development process, that involves some form of collective ownership or stewardship and is explicitly beneficial to the local community. Key models of community led housing include community land trusts, co-ops, cohousing projects, and varieties of self-build. These practices demonstrate the potential for developing housing in ways that are more locally focused, participatory and equitable as well as offering unique solutions to specific affordability crises.

After a recent period of growth in England, it is hoped that the numbers of homes delivered through community led housing will continue to increase over the coming years. A network of regional enabling hubs has been established to facilitate this. This research investigates the ways in which these hubs enable growth at a regional level through a comparative analysis of three case studies of regional enabling hubs supported by research conducted with national stakeholders.

Research Methods

The research compares community led housing development across case study three regions using a qualitative research design. Through comparison, key enabling and constraining factors in community led housing can be identified and the processes through which community led housing development is facilitated can be mapped out.



Phillipa volunteers at Foodhall. Foodhall is a community kitchen in Sheffield which transformed itself into a food delivery service for the most vulnerable during the COVD-19 pandemic. Find out more about Foodhall and Phillipa’s work there.

Annual Symposium 2020

At our Annual Symposium 2020 Phillipa spoke about her research and her work with Foodhall. During this talk she spoke about the impact the pandemic has had on food insecurity in Sheffield. You can find more in this write up: Symposium ’20: Racial justice, Covid and the SDGs.


Professor John Flint

Interdisciplinary Centre of the Social Sciences (ICOSS)


Tom Moore

School of Environmental Sciences, University of Liverpool