The term ‘community led housing’ is commonly used to describe homes that are developed and/or managed by local people or residents in not-for-profit organisational structures. This can include residents influencing or controlling the design process, full community control of the built housing and amenities, full community ownership of the property on completion, community control over who lives in the development, rental and sales prices fixed in perpetuity by covenants in ownership contracts, and ongoing community management. Community groups often actively build communities as well as housing and so create resilient mutually supportive neighbourhoods. Community led housing is designed and managed by the people who will live in the homes and often also owned by an entity that is controlled by the community.

Community Land Trusts, cooperative housing, co-housing, community self or custom-build, and tenancy self-management, and housing developed by community anchor organisations such as Development Trusts are typical examples of community-led housing.

Any of these mechanisms can be more or less “community-led”. Schemes that adopt these mechanisms can at times be closer to a market development model such as housing association schemes where a community land trust delivers the affordable element but residents end up being involved and consulted by skilled paid professionals in the housing association who hold far more of the power. Another example is co-living schemes which provide relatively affordable and convenient living with shared spaces and amenities but they are not managed by residents and deliver a profit margin to the owner. These are all useful components of the housing market.