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Leading the Way
for Community-Led Housing in Ireland

Common Ground Community-Led Housing offers a win-win solution for State bodies, households and the wider community for developing housing in Ireland.

Our replicable and internationally proven model makes housing more attainable, community-focused and sustainable, for the benefit of everyone.

Our viable proposal for a scheme in North County Wicklow aims to be the first of its kind in Ireland.

 

Why Our Community-Led Model Works

Proven

Community-led housing models have worked successfully in the UK, EU and beyond for over 50 years. By taking the best from these models it allows us to develop a low-risk investment proposition for stakeholders, lenders and land donors alike.

Attainable

This model makes acquiring a home more attainable for many individuals frozen out of the housing market by delivering a more affordable home. And it maintains this affordability in perpetuity.

Community-focused

Our model offers supports for both our internal community and the wider community. This means we can welcome members of different economic means, life stages and social needs and enable them to thrive together. While we will also enrich the wider community through provision of local amenities, supports and resources.

Sustainable

Our model offers sustainability in the fullest sense of the word through low-impact homes, shared workspaces and a reduced car pool. Our green spaces will include community gardens for growing fresh food and produce. And our self-sustaining approach reduces the burden on the state for providing housing, transport, social and other supports.

 

How Our Community-Led Model Works

Putting Community at the Heart of Design

Moving away from modern development design, aimed primarily at young families, Common Ground CLH intends to be inclusive of people in all life stages from children through to young adults, families and elders.

The standard design for a 3-bedroom house in the Common Ground CLH development is 20% smaller than the size of an average new house. The savings made are invested in shared social spaces, small guest rooms, laundry, a toolshed and gardens.

The wider community is also catered for through a neighbourhood centre with a multipurpose hall, wellness centre, work hub, cafe, marketspace and playground.

Locking Common Assets Through a Community Land Trust (CLT) Model

Here is how our CLT will work:

  • It will enable communities to own and protect valuable physical assets such as land designated for affordable housing, community buildings and green spaces.
  • The assets will be permanently protected for future generations via use of an asset lock which prevents land being sold for personal gain.
  • Where CLTs develop attainable housing, local need and affordability is prioritised.

 

Ensuring Affordability in Perpetuity – Our Mutual Home Ownership Society (MHOS)

An MHOS model allows for mutual member ownership and provides access to secure tenure.
Here’s how it works:

  • Primary funding is a single, combined (mutual) mortgage.
  • Debt is serviced by households’ monthly payments.
  • Equity in the MHOS company is accrued by households through these monthly payments.
  • Initial equity value is related to actual build cost.
  • Equity growth is linked to wage inflation not housing-market inflation – eliminating any speculation from the project.
  • Outgoing members can sell their equity to incoming members.

 

Building a Sustainable Community

Community is at the heart of our proposal. And while all members will have their own home – it’s in our shared spaces, support and responsibilities that our project will generate its true wealth.

It also means our model will go well beyond building A-rated houses. Our community will be sustainable in the fullest sense of the word. And this includes:

  • Smaller private homes with low-impact heating systems and natural solar gain to reduce carbon footprint
  • Shared group facilities – like laundry, recycling, compost pile, greenhouse, garden-sheds, car pool and bike sheds
  • Development of green spaces that encourage native flora and fauna to regenerate the environment.
  • A garden space that produces food for the community and uses harvested rainwater.

Building with Expertise

Common Ground CLH is not just a concept, we’re an active organisation who are serious about building Ireland’s first ever community-led housing scheme. And we’ve already committed to hiring the most qualified experts in this space to help us deliver on our goal.

Meet some of our team


Dominic Stevens

Architect

JFOC Architects


Hugh Brennan

Co-Founder and CEO

Ó Cualann Cohousing Alliance CLG


Jimm Reed

MHOS Advisor

Leeds Community Homes


Andy Lloyd

CLT Advisor

National Community Land Trust Network (UK)


Nick Sparrow

Not-for-Profit Fundraiser and Consultant


Suzie Cahn

Governance and
Group Facilitation

 

Help Us Lead the Way

Common Ground CLH was born out of Common Ground Bray community resource centre in 2018. Since then we have been passionate about creating this new approach to housing in Ireland. The pandemic has given us a renewed vigour by reinforcing our belief in the power of community and allowing us to further commit on realising our plans.

We now have seven external consultants on board to complement the work of our members. And we plan to publish our prospectus for Ireland’s first ever community-led housing scheme later this summer.

We are currently liaising with a number of potential Land, Fundraising and Financing Partners to assist in bringing our project to fruition.

Join us in developing this exciting new project for Irish Housing