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Sunday, 18 August 2019
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    Community housing accreditation course January 2019

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    Lyvennet Community Trust, Crosby Ravensworth

    David Graham with Rory Stewart MP dedicating the time capsule for Stoneworks Garth. Picture by F C Wilson

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    Keswick Community Housing Trust

    Allerdale Borough Council visit to the Hopes scheme

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    Trustees, community members and supporters at the opening of the Hopes scheme

    Picture courtesy of the Keswick Reminder, December 2013.

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    Eco housing at Findhorn, Scotland

Andy Lloyd

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Would Community Led Housing be good for your community?

Community Led Housing is about meeting local need, protecting homes for future generations, keeping communities together and helping employers retain staff.

Following lobbying from the CLT, Co-op and Co-housing Networks funding has been made available for the first time for the revenue and capital costs of community led housing. Combined with expert support from National enabling networks and housing associations the time has never been so good to get a scheme off the ground for your community. See many inspiring examples under 'What's Happening'


The objectives of the Community Housing Fund are to: • increase housing supply in England by increasing the number of additional homes delivered by the community-led housing sector; • provide housing that is affordable at local income levels and remains so in perpetuity; and • deliver a lasting legacy for the community-led housing sector in the form of an effective and financially self-sustaining body of expertise within the house building industry in England.

Key qualities - meaningful community engagement and consent occurs throughout the development process. The community does not necessarily have to initiate and manage the process, or build the homes themselves, though some may do; 1 £60 million boost for communities affected by second homeownership - https://www.gov.uk/government/news/60-million-boost-for-communities-affected-by-secondhomeownership 6 • the local community group or organisation owns, manages or stewards the homes and in a manner of their choosing, and this may be done through a mutually supported arrangement with a Registered Provider that owns the freehold or leasehold for the property; and • the benefits to the local area and/or specified community must be clearly defined and legally protected in perpetuity.


Some of the drivers for Community Led Housing

  • Enabling people to stay close to their jobs and families maintaining social links and support.
  • Retaining employees.
  • Providing decent size functional homes which retain families in their communities and enable them to live effective lives.
  • Combatting loneliness, sharing resources
  • Protecting homes so that they benefit subsequent generations
  • Maximising affordability to free up disposable income to spend in the real economy rather than on ultra-high housing costs.
  • Developing other assets the community needs - community buildings, green spaces, food and energy production.
  • Potential to generate surpluses which can be spent on what the community needs - meals for the elderly, care services, transport


What are CLTs?

From the National CLT Network website “Community Land Trusts (CLTs) are local organisations set up and run by ordinary people to develop and manage homes as well as other assets important to that community, like community enterprises, food growing or workspaces. The CLT’s main task is to make sure these homes are genuinely affordable, based on what people actually earn in their area, not just for now but for every future occupier.”


What’s happening in Cumbria and further afield?


















How can I help?

National Network advisers make it easier for communities and Local Authorities to initiate and deliver projects

For communities: I can shoulder the burden making it easier for you to achieve your aims

  • Explain community led housing models
  • Access start up funding
  • Present case studies and arrange visits
  • Assist the set-up and running of steering groups
  • Assist with consultations
  • Help create local partnerships
  • Assist with land identification and landowner negotiations
  • Assess viability
  • Help access funding and finance
  • Provide template documents
  • Introduce company forms and link to specialist legal advice
  • Develop and manage business plans

 For Local Authorities:

  • Assist in understanding community housing models and how they can be delivered
  • Support consultations and CLH Hubs
  • Work with interested communities


My experience


Up to 2016 I was employed as the Community Land Trust Officer with Cumbria Rural Housing Trust resulting in 40 affordable homes being developed. I served as a board member of the National CLT Network to 2015 and was a consultee for the Community Land Trust Handbook and the Scottish Rural Housing Service Community Bonds Handbook. I now work as a Community Land Trust Network technical adviser working across the North of England and further afield. Following the launch of the Community Housing Fund in December 2016 I worked with eight Local Authorities in Lancashire and Cumbria on the introduction of the fund and helped Fylde & Lancaster Councils develop CLH processes. I provide support to community groups to develop their vision, become organised, agree action plans, access funding, understand legal and technical aspects of development, provide viability assessments, and enable groups to choose the most appropriate way to deliver their schemes.



CLT legal definition

CLTs can be charities or not for profit social enterprises meeting the definition in Clause 79 of the Housing and Regeneration Act 2008

a corporate body which

  1. is established for the express purpose of furthering the social, economic and environmental interests of a local community by acquiring and managing land and other assets in order -
    • to provide a benefit to the local community
    • to ensure that the assets are not sold or developed except in a manner which the trust's members think benefits the local community
  2. is established under arrangements which are expressly designed to ensure that:
    • any profits from its activities will be used to benefit the local community (otherwise than by being paid directly to members)
    • individuals who live or work in the specified area have the opportunity to become members of the trust (whether or not others can also become members) the members of a trust control it.


Reasons for setting up a CLH scheme

“People set up and join CLTs / co-ops etc for all sorts of different reasons.  

It might be that there is a lack of affordable homes for young people or families in the village or neighbourhood, where local people are having to move out of the place they call home, and communities want to do something about it. 

It might be that the area has suffered years of decline and distinvestment, leaving empty properties and blight, and the community want to bring homes back into use and turn their neighbourhood around. 

Or it might be that the community is doing a Neighbourhood Plan and they want to take charge of how that Plan is delivered. 

In all these cases, the community wants to make their area a better place to live, and they want more control over how that happens.”


Where does the money come from?

Setting up - grants – the CLT Network, Local Authorities, Homes England CLH fund, Town and Parish Councils, local and national charities.

Predevelopment - loans and grants – Homes England, the CLT Fund, Local Authority grants and loans

Development - loans and Homes England grants – ethical banks, high street banks and building societies, Local Authorities, sales of market housing (cross subsidy), sales of shared ownership, rental income


Who manages the homes?

Community developments can buy in housing management or manage themselves.


CLT Network lobbying led to the launch of the new £163 million Community Housing Fund for England up to 2020 to 2021






Why is community led development relevant and exciting?

Over the past 30 years housing in the UK has become 260% more expensive while wages have stagnated and low paid jobs have increased. The supply of affordable homes has for a long time fallen dramatically behind demand. Now government is seeking new kinds of housing delivery to diversify the housing market, and for the first time specialist revenue and capital funding is available from Homes England which is causing a step change in the number of community led housing projects coming forwards. Communities have highly sustainable visions of development which they believe are needed to meet the challenges of our times - providing community facilities to combat loneliness, improving affordability, embracing new build methods, combining food, energy production and community facilities – creating truly sustainable neighbourhoods. And enablers from the Confederation of Co-operative Housing, Co-Housing Network and CLT  Network are here to help!

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