On Wednesday, we attended the Rural Urban Synthesis Society’s (RUSS) Temporary Community Hub Build Launch in Ladywell, Lewisham. After working alongside RUSS in a number of ways in recent years, CDS have supported the delivery of this project in line with our vision to promote community and co-op led housing.
RUSS is a members-led Community Land Trust based in South London. Founded in 2009, the group’s first project is a sustainable development of 33 homes with shared open space on a site in Churchgrove, Ladywell. Ahead of the building of these homes, the group have crowdfunded for the materials of a self-build community space on the site which will act as a knowledge hub to share ideas and learning around community-led housing. Amongst other things, the Hub will become home to the RUSS School of Community-led Housing which carries out vital work in equipping emerging groups with the skills needed to successfully lead a community-led project.
Chief Executive of CDS, Linda Wallace, believes the Hub highlights the potential held within the community-led housing sector and is delighted that CDS are able to help RUSS to unlock this potential:
We are really delighted to be able to support the RUSS Community Led Housing School as part of our promoter work. At CDS, we want to make it possible for CLH to be widely and easily available for anyone who wants to change their housing choices through their own efforts. The RUSS school has the potential to increase confidence and skills for local people to identify and convert new housing opportunities – that might otherwise fail to come to fruition. The school is a great example of the collaboration and generosity of our sector – with RUSS keen to share what they have learned so far and to learn from others as they embark on their CLH journey. We are excited to be able to help and can’t wait to see what comes next!
Work began on site for the Hub last week and is due to be completed by September 2019. The build, carried out in conjunction with Habitat for Humanity, will be largely led by a team of volunteers. This group will drawn from RUSS’ 1000 strong membership and beyond. Last night we heard from a number of the RUSS team who recapped the remarkable hard work over the past two years that has allowed the Hub build to begin this month. The RUSS team were also up front about the unexpected bumps in the road they have faced during this process, from volunteer burnout, to the logistics of sourcing sustainable materials. We are proud to support the delivery of the Hub and help the team overcome some of these logistical difficulties. It is a space that will be used extensively by both the local community and the community-led housing community over the next four years. Stay tuned for updates on the build’s progress over the coming months!
If you are interested in getting involved volunteer in the build of Temporary Community Hub then take a look here. No experience is necessary and a full induction will be carried out for every volunteer!