The call to create a Community Wealth Fund has grown stronger this week as the PlaceShapers network of community-focused housing associations became the one hundredth member of the campaign alliance.
A new wave of unclaimed and dormant assets – from bonds, shares, insurance and pension funds and charitable trusts – could be worth between £2bn and £4bn.
Campaigners for a Community Wealth Fund believe this money should be turned into an endowed fund to provide strategic, long-term funding for communities who need it most.
The Community Wealth Fund Alliance, which is already supported by organisations such as Joseph Rowntree Foundation and Social Enterprise UK, would seek to create opportunity and unlock the power of communities, said to help communities buy assets, protect local services, build new infrastructure and develop new relationships.
Today, the Alliance reached 100 members as the PlaceShapers network of 120 housing associations joined the campaign.
Sinéad Butters, Chair of PlaceShapers and CEO of Aspire Housing Group said: “PlaceShapers is delighted to sign up and support the lobby to create a Community Wealth Fund, targeting millions back into our communities from dormant assets. Supporting deprived communities is a fantastic idea, and for us a critical step in helping to ensure our country shares equally in wealth created. After all, we all helped create it, so let’s all benefit from it.”
Aspire Housing and Soha Housing, both members of PlaceShapers, have also individually joined the Alliance.
Matt Leach, CEO of Local Trust, on behalf of the Community Wealth Fund Alliance said: “We are really pleased to welcome PlaceShapers as the one hundredth member of the Community Wealth Fund Alliance (CWFA).
“Good housing providers aren’t just about bricks and mortar, they aim to make a real difference to the lives of the residents and communities they support. In becoming a member of the CWFA and promoting the Community Wealth Fund across more than 100 housing association members, PlaceShapers is reflecting its network’s commitment to building stronger communities, particularly in those areas the Government has described as ‘left behind’.”
For more information about the Community Wealth Fund, the organisation who make up the alliance and how to sign up: bit.ly/CommunityWealthFund