If you have any questions, please email school@theruss.org

About the School:

RUSS has set up a School of Community-led Housing offering individuals, community groups and housing professionals the chance to learn from RUSS’s many years of experience and gain information about how to set up a community-led housing project. The School offers workshops which are interactive, with exercises designed to stimulate discussion around the issues of community-led housing. We also offer short 1 hour talks on specific subjects, online or at our Hub.

RUSS doesn’t have all the answers but it has found creative and robust ways to gain access to land on which to build, and is keen to share its learning and inspire others. The workshops also are a great opportunity to meet others interested in joining or forming community housing groups.

Community-led housing (CLH) is a way for local communities to address their housing needs by producing their own decent and affordable homes. It is increasingly seen as a viable alternative for those whose housing needs are not met by the mainstream housing market. But how can communities and individuals access community-led housing? How do you set up and maintain a group, find land, organise finance and negotiate with local authorities?

RUSS has developed a workshop programme of 5 modules, aligned with the 5 stages of CLH development:  Group > Site > Plan > Build > Live.

The 5 RUSS modules are:

1. GROUP: Getting Started – RUSS’s experience of setting up a group

2. SITE: Getting Moving – RUSS’s experience of finding a viable site

3A. PLAN: Getting Permission – RUSS’s experience of securing planning permission

3B. PLAN: Getting Serious – RUSS’s experience of preparing to start on site

4. BUILD: Getting Real – RUSS’s experience of the construction phase

5. LIVE: Getting On – RUSS’s experience of living in a Community Led-Housing Scheme

RUSS has developed 2 workshop modules so far – Module 1 has been run since 2016, and we introduced Module 2 in November 2018. In 2020 we trialled new module 3A and will develop 3B when we start on site in Spring 2021.

Where possible, we will also offer site visits to existing community-led housing projects for discussion and knowledge exchange.