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Grants / Projects we are funding

Wessex community assets: Raise the roof

Grant details


Awarded on:01/04/2021

Duration:24 months


Area of interest

Local economic resilience

What can a local community do to help solve the UK's housing crisis, and how can they act in a way that addresses both this pressing problem and the climate crisis? An innovative project in Somerset led by Wessex Community Assets aims to find out the answers

What is the issue?

The Raise the Roof project addresses three inter-locking crises:

  • The crisis in the housing sector across the UK, characterised by lack of affordability, lack of sustainability and lack of security.
  • The crisis of livelihoods in the UK’s towns, characterised by low average wages and job insecurity, lack of access to skills training, and lack of support and resources to support the start up or expansion of local enterprises.
  • The ecological crisis, encompassing climate change, biodiversity loss and poor management of the natural environment, including agricultural land and woodlands, combined with pollution and resource depletion.

What will the project try to achieve?

The Raise the Project seeks to answer these questions:

  • Can we build in such a way that we help maintain and create jobs within a resilient local economy?
  • Can we imagine new and creative designs and construction methods for the houses we want to build – and ensure they are affordable?
  • Can we draw on sustainable materials that flow out of regenerative forestry and agriculture?

Wessex Community Assets will develop a model for locally rooted manufacturing and the construction of affordable housing, linked to regenerative land use. We will support the production of sustainable resources (timber, hemp and flax), create local infrastructure for processing and fabrication, and enable communities to build affordable housing drawing on these local materials and local infrastructure.

Who might be interested in this project?

Local people and support organisations involved in community wealth building. Local authorities, housing associations, local enterprise partnerships, policy makers. Architects and builders, farmers and land owners.