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Capital Funding: Possible Sources

Funding From Central Government

At the time of writing (July 2019) there is no longer a central government funded empty homes grants programme.  There is a campaign run by Action On Empty Homes [1] for a new £450m programme, but as yet it’s only a campaign.

Funding From Local Authorities

Local authorities have the power to support refurbishment of vacant properties in a number of different ways. This section includes details of a number of these powers and examples of where they have been put into effect. If your own local authority doesn’t provide funding in one or other of the ways described, it may be possible to persuade them to do so – especially if you can point to what other local authorities are doing and how it works.

Local Authority Right to Buy Grants Programmes: There are currently two local authorities, Leeds and Hull, running grant programmes funded from their right to buy receipts. This briefing [2] explains how it works.

Local Authority Section 106 Grants/Loans: Some local authorities use monies received from developers via Section 106 deals to provide a grants or loans programme to develop affordable housing. Find out more here [3].

Local Authority Prudential Lending: Local Authorities have powers to raise funding that they can then lend at preferential rates to organisations wanting to develop housing which they support. Find out more here [4].

Local Authority Asset Transfer: Local authorities have powers to transfer housing assets at less than market value or for a nominal amount under certain conditions.  Find out more here. [5]

Homes England Funding

Another source of funding is Homes England and two ways of securing funding are described in the following briefings:

Accessing Grant Funding From Homes England Via A Housing Association To Cover Renovation Costs: This route simply requires a willing housing association, which is a Registered Provider to help out by accessing the costs of refurbishment from Homes England in respect property,  that you already own, via a leasing arrangement with you. No need to be a registered provider yourself. More information here [6].

The Community Housing Fund Revenue Grants: If you qualify as a community led housing organisation, you may be able to apply for grant funding for feasibility and pre-development work. (Although this money comes via Homes England, there’s no need to be a “Registered Provider”) More information here. [7]

The Community Housing Fund Capital Grants: If you qualify as a community led housing organisation and are willing to become a Registered Provider, then the CHF is a source of capital grants. More information here. [8]

The Community Housing Fund London Grants: This Briefing describes how the CHF works in London, where it is administered by the GLA. More information here. [9]

Homes England Capital Grants For Rented Accommodation : Capital funding is available for refurbishing vacant property  from both the Community Housing Fund and the Homes England mainstream funding programme ( The Affordable Housing Programme) and   [10]this note outlines how that works [11], but to qualify you have to obtain “registered provider” status.    

Securing Registration As A Registered Provider And Capital Funding From Homes England This briefing [12] explains how the registration process works and how registration as a Registered Provider  determines access to Homes England capital funding.

Trust & Foundations

Grants From Trusts & Foundations: There are some charitable trusts that will consider capital grants towards the cost of refurbishing vacant property in order to create housing for people in need, subject to organisations meeting their eligibility criteria ( although trusts & foundations are more likely to consider funding revenue costs) . These programmes vary from time to time and may have a national or a regional/local focus.  Among those with recent  programmes are Land Aid [13] (young people)  and Power To Change [14]  (Community Businesses)

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