Author Archives: Ed and Amy

Get ready for investment: Free workshop with Ethex

Looking for investors for your community-led housing project? In this workshop on Thursday 18 October we will be introducing you to Ethex, which supports organisations such as charities, businesses and co-ops in the social purpose housing sector by supporting them to be ready for outside investment and raise the money they need.

The Ethex investment platform helps individuals to make investments into businesses with a social or ethical purpose, and they have helped raise nearly £65 million in the last five years for their clients. They have 13,000 engaged investors who are looking to invest in enterprises and have identified housing as an area that they are particularly keen to support.

At this free workshop on Thursday 18 October from 4.15pm until 6.00pm at The Edge Community Centre, 83 Pankhurst Avenue, Brighton, BN2 9AE. Jo Simpson (Consultant at Eastside Primetimers) and Tom Carman (Ethex) will be covering a range of issues related to raising social investment/social finance, including explaining how their platform works, who the social investors are and what they are looking for. Sign up and get ‘investment ready’!

Please make sure you book your place in advance here at Eventbrite. The workshop is free, but we require participants to become BHCLT members (fee £1). Join here: bhclt.org.uk/membership Continue reading

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Community Housing Fund open for capital funding bids

Phase Two of the Community Housing Fund is now open to eligible organisations and groups to bid for capital grants to fund the costs of acquiring land and building community-led housing schemes. The £163 million fund is available for community-led groups who want to realise their affordable housing ambitions across England up to 31 March 2020.

This funding is best for groups who are in the later stages of planning and ready to purchase land or housing.

Phase One of the fund launched in July 2018 and supports applications for capacity building and pre-development revenue funding. The format to apply to Phase Two is almost the same as for Phase One.

Organisations which intend to be the landlord of low-cost rental properties funded by Phase Two of the Community Housing Fund must be – or intend to become – registered as a provider of social housing (a ‘registered provider’) with the Social Housing Regulator.

Brighton & Hove Community Land Trust is part of ongoing conversations across the city about who is best placed to be a registered provider and the most efficient and effective way to make sure we bring as much funding for community-led housing into the city as possible. We are also waiting for guidance from Homes England on this issue and others related to the Fund.

Sign up to our mailing list or watch this space for updates.

Find out more about the Community Housing Fund, including relevant documents and application guidance

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Community-led housing journeys: Three groups tell their story

Brighton & Hove Community Land Trust (BHCLT) is working with around 17 new community-led housing groups as part of our Community-Led Housing Programme.

We spoke to people from three of these groups: Selby Housing Co-operative, SEASALT (South East Students Autonomously Living Together) and Lilliput Housing Co-operative about their experiences so far and the highs and lows of their journey.

Community-led housing allows local people to take control of their housing and create alternatives to the limited choices offered by the current housing market. Approaches include self-build, cohousing and housing co-operatives, all developed and run by local people working together.

Thanks to Tim Andrews Images who filmed and edited the video, as well as all the people from housing groups who took part.

Continue reading

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Join the call to extend the Community Housing Fund

The National Community Land Trust Network is calling on its members and supporters to campaign for the multi-million Community Housing Fund to be extended beyond 2019/20.

The campaign is for the Fund to be extended so that it can support community-led housing groups and the delivery of truly affordable homes in the way it was intended.

Bids for funding currently need to be in by December 2019. This tight deadline means mean fewer groups than anticipated will benefit from the Fund, jeopardising the number of homes that could be built or brought back into use.

The campaign asks:

  • Extend the Community Housing Fund beyond 2020.
  • Introduce a proportionate system of reistration for Registered Providers intending to provide fewer than 100 homes.
  • Ensure community led housing groups aren’t thwarted by the Right to Buy and leasehold reforms.

Continue reading

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Celebrating Brighton & Hove’s movement for community-led housing

Brighton & Hove Community Land Trust (BHCLT) held its first Annual General Meeting at One Church, Brighton on Wednesday 12 September. The event was also a good chance to celebrate the work of the local housing groups BHCLT has been working with over the past 10 months, as part of the Community-Led Housing Programme, supported by Brighton & Hove City Council (BHCC), through the national Community Housing Fund.

There was a great atmosphere and everyone came together for a shared meal during the evening. We heard more about plans for the CLT over the next six months and how people can get more involved.

We are also pleased to welcome six BHCLT Directors who were elected at the meeting. Re-elected were the four existing Directors: Continue reading

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Celebrating Brighton & Hove’s movement for community-led housing

13 September 2018

Celebrating Brighton & Hove’s movement for community-led housing

Brighton & Hove Community Land Trust (BHCLT) held its first Annual General Meeting at One Church, Brighton on Wednesday 12 September. The event was also a chance to celebrate the work of the housing groups BHCLT has been working with over the past 10 months.

Community-led housing allows local people to take control of their housing and create alternatives to the limited choices offered by the current housing market. Approaches include self-build, cohousing and housing co-operatives, all developed and run by local people working together.

BHCLT has been supporting local people to come together and organise, or build, their own affordable homes as part of its Community-Led Housing Programme, supported by Brighton & Hove City Council (BHCC), through the national Community Housing Fund.

BHCLT is working with 17 groups including, Bunker Housing Co-op: A self-build group due to start building their first two homes in the next month; SEASALT: set to be the first student housing co-operative in the South East; a cohousing project for women over 50 years old and Lilliput Housing Co-operative who are planning a neighbourhood of nine small, low cost homes for those most in need of secure, genuinely affordable housing in Brighton & Hove.

Six BHCLT Directors were also elected at the meeting. Re-elected were the four existing Directors:

Jonny Anstead has worked in the built environment sector for 15 years. He has specific experience in delivering community-led housing through his company TOWN’s role as development partner to K1 Cohousing, delivering a 42-home cohousing scheme in Cambridge, which is due for completion in October 2018.

Peter Clarke, a founder Director of BHCLT who has been working as the Trust’s Treasurer. He is also a founder member of South Downs Eco Housing Co-operative with experience in building and architecture, community development and administration of grant-funded and community-led programmes.

Rita Garner who has been a Director of BHCLT for the past year and has extensive experience in governance, people management, and financial management of health and social care services. She works in leadership development with individuals and small groups using coaching and facilitation skills.

Helen Russell, a founder Director of BHCLT who has been involved in housing since the 1970s, from squatting in Brixton to representing Community Works on the Strategic Housing Partnership, pioneering the Confederation of Cooperative Housing (CCH) in 1991, and being Chair of her home co-op during the development of its new build flats.

There were also two new Directors elected:

Sudhin Chatterji who has over 20 years of experience in the construction and development industry as a lawyer acting for major banks, pension funds and institutions on a variety of development and regeneration projects throughout the UK.

Martyn Holmes: A Brighton resident and founding member of Bunker Housing Co-op. Martyn is also an academic, Community-Led Housing (CLH) developer/enabler and housing activist.

Brighton & Hove Community Land Trust is a growing membership organisation of over 200 local people working to keep housing and land in the city affordable for future generations. It is just £1 to join. Find out more at bhclt.org.uk

For more information contact us on admin@bhclt.org.uk 

 Notes for editors

  1. Brighton & Hove Community Land Trust (BHCLT) is a non-profit community-led organisation working to put housing development back in the hands of people who need it. It is one of over 225 Community Land Trusts (CLTs) in England and Wales. Find out more at: https://bhclt.org.uk/
  2. Community Land Trusts (CLTs) act as long-term stewards of housing, ensuring that it remains genuinely affordable, based on what local people actually earn, not just for now but for every future occupier. There are now almost 290 CLTs in England and Wales, and the sector has grown six-fold in the last six years. CLTs have developed over 820 homes across the country, with more than 5,000 in the pipeline up to 2021. More information can be found at: www.communitylandtrusts.org.uk
    3. Announced in 2016, a national Community Housing Fund of £60 million was shared between almost 150 councils to help tackle the problem of high levels of second home ownership in their communities. Brighton & Hove City Council (BHCC) was allocated £464,500 and the fund was in turn, awarded to BHCLT in October 2017, which is acting as the lead partner in this programme of work, alongside Co-operative Housing in Brighton & Hove (CHIBAH) and Mutual Aid in Sussex (MAIS).
  3. In July 2018 the national government announced the multimillion pound Community Housing Fund which will provide local people with the financial backing to make their community-led housing projects a reality. The Fund will be managed by Homes England and will come in two phases: phase one will help groups to cover costs during the planning stages and the second phase will be capital grants to pay for the construction costs for new homes. BHCLT’s Community-Led Housing Programme is supporting local people to apply for this Fund and make their ideas a reality. The full prospectus for the latest round of the Community Housing Fund can be found here: www.gov.uk/government/publications/community-housing-fund-prospectus
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Celebrating community-led housing in our city

29 August 2018

Seventeen groups of local people are working with Brighton & Hove Community Land Trust (BHCLT) on affordable, secure housing for the city

They will be celebrated at BHCLT’s Annual General Meeting

WEDNESDAY 12 SEPTEMBER 2018, 6.00-9.00PM (REGISTRATION FROM 5.30PM)

ONE CHURCH, GLOUCESTER PLACE, BRIGHTON, BN1 4AA

The movement for more affordable and community-led housing in Brighton & Hove has been building over the past year. Brighton & Hove Community Land Trust (BHCLT) is celebrating this work at its Annual General Meeting and celebration event on Wednesday 12 September.

Community-led housing allows local people to take control of their housing and create alternatives to the limited choices offered by the current housing market. Approaches include self-build, cohousing and housing co-operatives, all developed and run by local people working together.

BHCLT has been supporting groups of local people to come together and organise, or build, their own affordable homes as part of its Community-Led Housing Programme, supported by Brighton & Hove City Council (BHCC), through a previous round of the Community Housing Fund. BHCLT has worked with Co-operative Housing in Brighton & Hove (CHIBAH) and Mutual Aid in Sussex (MAIS) to deliver the Programme.

Supported groups include:

  • Bunker Housing Co-op: A self-build group due to start building their first two homes this month. Each three-bedroom house is approximately 100 sq meters and due to cost around £175,000 each to build. They will then be rented to members of the co-operative for £800 a month per home.
  • Sussex Cohousing is another group working with BHCLT and aiming to develop a cohousing project in or near Brighton. Their vision is a community of 15-35 households (each with their own front door), collaboratively managed by the residents and working on a mixed tenure model, including renting and ownership. They are currently exploring different sites in the local area, on which they will be able to build.
  • Lilliput housing co-operative are planning a neighbourhood of nine small, low cost homes for those most in need of secure, genuinely affordable housing in Brighton & Hove. It would run as a co-operative with its members as both tenant and landlord. They have been making great progress on the project over the past few months and are in the process of obtaining land and finances.

Other projects include a student housing co-operative called SEASALT, a cohousing project for women over 50 years old, a project incorporating adults with learning disabilities and a group setting up a housing project for people with mental health issues.

Rita Garner, BHCLT Director said: “This is our first AGM and we want to expand our membership so we can make a tangible addition to affordable housing in Brighton & Hove.  We are looking for Directors and members who will help make this a reality.”

It is an exciting time for community-led housing in Brighton & Hove. In July 2018 the national government announced the multimillion pound Community Housing Fund which will provide local people with the financial backing to make their community-led housing projects a reality. The Fund will be managed by Homes England and will come in two phases: phase one will help groups to cover costs during the planning stages and the second phase will be capital grants to pay for the construction costs for new homes. BHCLT’s Community-Led Housing Programme is supporting local people to apply for this Fund and make their ideas a reality.

Community-led housing is good for Brighton & Hove because:

  • It provides additional affordable and stable housing to those in need.
  • It creates and demonstrates alternative ways of living which have a positive impact on wellbeing.
  • It helps local people develop new skills as they make their projects a reality.
  • It encourages collaboration and co-operative between local people and involves them in decisions about new housing.
  • People have more say in how their homes are developed and managed.
  • It creates an opportunity to make use of empty buildings and vacant land, revitalising communities.

The celebration event on Wednesday 12 September is open to all but only BHCLT members will be able to vote in the AGM section. Membership is just £1 and can be done here at the BHCLT website: https://bhclt.org.uk/membership/

After the AGM there will be a shared meal and celebration of the success of new community-led housing groups in the city. We will also be looking forward at what is next for BHCLT and our Community-Led Housing Programme.

People are asked to sign up via Eventbrite if they would like to attend: https://bhclt-agm-celebration-2018-tickets.eventbrite.co.uk

For more information, including to hear more about existing community-led housing projects in Brighton & Hove contact Amy Hall, Communications Officer with BHCLT on comms[at]bhclt.org.uk

Notes for editors

  1. Brighton & Hove Community Land Trust (BHCLT) is a non-profit community-led organisation working to put housing development back in the hands of people who need it. It is one of over 225 Community Land Trusts (CLTs) in England and Wales. Find out more at: https://bhclt.org.uk/
  2. Community Land Trusts (CLTs) act as long-term stewards of housing, ensuring that it remains genuinely affordable, based on what local people actually earn, not just for now but for every future occupier. There are now almost 290 CLTs in England and Wales, and the sector has grown six-fold in the last six years. CLTs have developed over 820 homes across the country, with more than 5,000 in the pipeline up to 2021. More information can be found at: www.communitylandtrusts.org.uk
    3. Announced in 2016, a national Community Housing Fund of £60 million was shared between almost 150 councils to help tackle the problem of high levels of second home ownership in their communities. Brighton & Hove City Council (BHCC) was allocated £464,500 and the fund was in turn, awarded to BHCLT in October 2017, which is acting as the lead partner in this programme of work, alongside Co-operative Housing in Brighton & Hove (CHIBAH) and Mutual Aid in Sussex (MAIS).
  3. The full prospectus for the latest round of the Community Housing Fund can be found here: www.gov.uk/government/publications/community-housing-fund-prospectus

 

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Which organisational form should your community-led housing group choose? – Video

On 12th June 2018, Andrea Jones (Brighton & Hove Community Land Trust) and Laura Moss (Wrigleys Solicitors) gave a workshop on organisational forms for community-led housing groups.

Andrea gave the first half which covered issues of ownership, power and decision-making and draws on Andrea’s PhD research data and the experiences of local community-led housing groups. Watch her half below:


(if the video above appears blurry when watching, click Settings and then Quality in the YouTube player and select the highest quality your internet connection can handle) Continue reading

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We’re looking for a part-time administrator

Are you an interested in playing a key role in the development of Community-led Housing in the city?

Part-time Administrator, 1.5 days a week until March 2019.
£200 a day (7.5 hour day) on a self-employed basis.
Deadline: Midnight on Tuesday 4 September 2018

Brighton & Hove Community Land Trust (BHCLT) supports community-led housing (CLH) projects, including co-operatives, cohousing and self-build (whether you are doing it with your own hands or contracting the work out), all developed through local people working together. These projects bring more affordable housing to the city and keep community engagement and consent at the centre of any development. We are working with Co-operative Housing in Brighton & Hove (CHIBAH) and Mutual Aid in Sussex (MAIS) to deliver a programme of capacity building in Community-Led Housing. Continue reading

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Learn more about Sociocracy: Free workshop

Sociocracy is a governance system that aims to balance inclusiveness with effectiveness. It is popular with housing communities in the US and elsewhere. Due to popular demand from local community-led housing groups we are running a free workshop to find out more on Saturday 29 September in Brighton.

How groups organise and work together significantly impacts on what they can achieve. Sociocracy is structured somewhere between regular hierarchies that we’re likely all used to, and ‘flat’ consensus-based formats that others may have experienced. It helps to reap the benefits of both formats – namely efficiency as well as equality.

Linked teams of people (circles) work semi-autonomously to understand the issues they have to deal with and create policies together, using inclusive techniques such as rounds and consent to make decisions efficiently. Continue reading

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Laughton Lodge – a story of building a cohousing community

Laughton Lodge was set up as a cohousing community nearly 20 years ago and is a buoyant community of 70 adults and children, living in 21 houses and sharing 23 acres of land in East Sussex.

On Tuesday 18 September, Mel Nock, a founder member of Laughton Lodge, will be talking about the journey they took to set up their community, the steps and decisions they took, the highs and lows, and how they have continued to build the community in the 20 years since.

Cohousing communities are intentional communities, created and run by their residents. Each household has a self-contained, private home as well as shared community space. Space will be given for questions and networking. Continue reading

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Community engagement and community-led housing

The session will explore how to get the wider community involved in your community-led housing project. We’ve invited two community organisers from two projects that are trying to build a community, not just houses.

The free workshop will take place on Thursday 27 September, 6.00-8.00pm at the Brighthelm Centre (Hanover Room), North Road, Brighton, BN1 1YD

Sam Kinch joins us from the Heart of Hastings project that intend to build, purchase or renovate housing across the town that will remain affordable forever. They are using innovative approaches to community ownership and community-level social investment. Continue reading

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