Release date – 4 December 2018



RUSS, the Community Land Trust behind an innovative 33 home affordable self-build project in Lewisham, has been awarded a grant of £9,450 by the National Lottery’s Awards for All scheme. The funding will enable RUSS to run a series of training workshops during 2019 to explain how people can team-up to commission and build their own affordable homes.

RUSS secured planning permission for its pioneering £8m affordable housing project in Lewisham earlier this year, following a long and complicated process. Building work is expected to start on site around the middle of 2019.

RUSS has also set up a School of Community-Led Housing to share experience and learning with others. As its projects progress, RUSS will develop a series of learning modules shared through training workshops.

The first training workshop – due to be staged in London on Saturday 26 January – will encourage local communities to address their housing needs by organising their own affordable homes. The workshop will explain how to set up and maintain a community-led housing group, how to find land, organise finance and negotiate with local authorities. It will take place at CDS Co-operatives in Great Dover Street, London, SE1.

The workshop should particularly appeal to individuals or groups that are planning similar projects. Architects, housing professionals and other consultants involved in advising community-led housing groups should also find the event helpful.

The second workshop (which was piloted in late 2018) and will be offered again in 2019, though the dates are not yet confirmed. This module covers the actions required to take a project from a vision to the pre-planning stage. Delegates will discover in more detail how RUSS developed its Vision for the project; how the RUSS ‘model’ works; and how to undertake an Appraisal for a project to check it is viable and affordable. The workshop concludes with a discussion on Affordability – the costs and values of a scheme, in financial and social terms, and for the different stakeholders. An important aspect of RUSS School is the interaction between RUSS team members – volunteers and professionals, and the attendees. Previous delegates have emphasised how helpful it is to be able to talk with like-minded people and those who have ‘done it’ themselves.

Workshop organiser Anne Kennedy said: “We are committed to helping other community-led housing groups climb the steep learning curve. RUSS is a small not-for-profit organisation run mainly by volunteers, and without this funding from the National Lottery it would be almost impossible to stage the workshops”.

The cost of the workshops is £25 (or £20 for concessions) and a small number of free places are sometimes available.

For further information contact Anne Kennedy via, or RUSS Trustee Ted Stevens (07860 336087)

Full details of the programme for the January workshop is available on the following Eventbrite page: