The government is asking social lenders for their help in funding the community right-to-buy scheme, Third Sector understands.
The scheme, which will give community organisations first refusal when assets of benefit to the community - such as swimming pools, post offices and libraries - come on the market, is a key proposal of the Conservative party's big society agenda.
A spokeswoman for the social lender Triodos Bank confirmed it had been in discussions with the Cabinet Office about the community right-to-buy scheme and how it would be supported. A spokesman for Charity Bank declined to comment.
A similar scheme operating in Scotland has faced difficulties because communities cannot afford expensive assets and would benefit from a fund from which they could borrow.