Using the Tool

START

1. Press the button to start the tool and this will take you to the start screen and you should first enter the project type. A  housing project only has community houses, a community building project has some sort of community centre or other community business or use whilst a combined scheme or Community Land Trust includes both elements. You should then enter the project title, your name and role and then press "next".

2. VAT and tax can have significant implications for a project (especially one with a community building). You should read the guidance and information carefully before deciding whether an option to tax may be applicable. You should then press "next" to move on to the main entry page(s).

HOUSING

3. If there is a housing element to your project then the housing input page will be shown. You will need to enter an estimate for the cost of the land and an a proposed mix of housing types and sizes. Please be aware that this tool is designed to help understand what may be viable and to make it easy to use it takes a simplified approach using "small, "medium" and "large" categories for some input variables so you should choose what is closest in approximation to your project proposals.

4. You can enter known costs or use the averages provided and complete as much as possible of the required input as shown. Please use estimates where figures are not known and refer to the guidance where needed. You can always return to the input to change numbers later on if you decide to do so. It is important that assumptions entered are as realistic as possible as this improves the accuracy of the result. When completed you should press "next".

COMMUNITY BUILDINGS

5. If there is a community building as part of your project then this input page will be shown. You should start by entering the type of building (e.g.. a community centre), its size (small, medium, large or specific details if known).

6. The use of the building for generating income is central to its viability, so it is important to enter estimates for:

  • Income from rental (e.g... from leases and licences from tenants) and room hire (may be ad-hoc or regular)
  • Contract income (e.g. with local authorities or other agencies to deliver local services)
  • Social enterprises such as from a community cafe and a community shop

7. It is often difficult to get the income generating and business activity right and they are often significantly related to the size and design of the building, particularly in relation to rental and room space so you may need to look at a range of different scenarios to see which has the potential to work best and you can easily do this by returning to these assumptions at a later stage..

8. You should then enter some cost assumptions and once completed, press "next" to move to the reports stage.