Setting up a Community Land Trust
As your local MP and as a former Housing Minister I am keen to make sure that people live in high quality housing in good communities. This is one of the reasons I oppose Harlow North and have sought to be constructive about the local plan.
One option for affordable homes locally is the creation of Community Land Trusts (CLTs).
What are Community Land Trusts?
Community Land Trusts are a form of community-led housing. The CLT acquires land through purchase by the community, or a gift, and oversees the development of affordable housing to buy, rent or as self-build. The housing remains affordable in perpetuity. The CLT is a not-for-profit group and acts as a long-term steward of the homes built.
How do I set one up?
Anyone can set up a CLT. Local people living and working in the community must however have the opportunity to join the CLT as members. Those members manage the CLT and become its board of trustees. Once you have found people to support your idea for a trust then you should contact the National Community Land Trust Network. They can help give you scheme specific advice and the next steps on the road to breaking ground.
What kinds of housing can we provide?
CLTs are set up to provide a variety of possible forms of housing. They can either be set up as rental properties with the rent set by the trust, or for sale. They can also be built for the purpose of catering to specific groups such as the elderly or young families. Both tend to be below market value to make them affordable to local people. With the land cost removed this makes the solution viable.
What grants are there to help?
Funding can come from a range of sources for CLT depending on the individual circumstances and phase of development they are in.
- National Community Land Trust Network can provide some initial grants to help start up – This money comes from external funds
- Annual Community Housing Fund by central government gives money to local councils – This can help cover initial cost
- Support of District Council, County Council or Local Authority
- A grant from the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA)
- Charitable donations (The Nationwide Foundation for example but there are others out there)
- Work in partnership with housing groups
- A revolving grant funding from various sources
Where are there CLTs nearby?
The closet CLT’s are in Royston and Haverhill. You can also find other successful case studies from across the country that would be similar to projects in Hertford and Stortford. For a full map click
I would be really interested for people to look into this as an option to their local housing issues and real local development