Absolutely they can. There are amazing examples of community-led housing, such as, locally, Transition Homes in Totnes, the Broadhempston Community Land Trust housing scheme and the community housing scheme in East Portlemouth. In terms of something on the scale of ambition of Atmos Totnes, possibly the best example in the UK is Coin Street Community Builders (CSCB) in London.
Since its creation in 1984, emerging out of a community campaign against a huge commercial office development on the South Bank in London, CSCB redeveloped the Oxo Tower Wharf, Gabriel’s Wharf, Bernie Spain Gardens and set up four housing co-operatives. The housing co-operatives are housed in new buildings commissioned by CSCB. In 2007, CSCB occupied new offices at the Coin Street neighbourhood centre, also designed by Haworth Tompkins. As well as offices the building includes a day nursery and crèche, conference and meeting facilities.
CSCB also offers a variety of community programmes for people of all ages including youth clubs, sports and dance sessions and family and children’s activities. The entire development is in community ownership.