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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