Tag Archives: Community Land Trusts

Community-led development in the Heart of Hastings

Just along the coast, Heart of Hastings Community Land Trust are doing exciting things in community-led housing and land development. Some of the BHCLT staff team and Directors visited the CLT on Wednesday 28 November to have a look at what they’re up to and share our experiences with each other.

In the foyer of Rock House

As a coastal community, Hastings has some similarities to Brighton & Hove but it’s on the brink of a wave of gentrification that we have already experienced and is about to become somewhere where house prices outstrip wages.

We met Jess, Shelley, Sam, and James from the Heart of Hastings team at Rock House, a building which James told us is the centre of a ‘co-operative ecosystem’. Rock House is in the White Rock area of Hastings – where much of Heart of Hastings’ work is focused. It is one of the town’s poorest neighbourhoods but is changing rapidly.

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Seeing is believing with Cornwall CLT

On 17 October, Amy Hall from the BHCLT team went to a National CLT Network See it and Believe it event in Duloe, Cornwall, including a tour of houses under development nearby.

Established in 2006, Cornwall Community Land Trust is now one of the biggest in the country. It develops its own housing as well as supporting and advising the many other smaller CLTs across the county. Between 20007 and 2018 Cornwall CLT has built, supported or enabled 236 homes.

We heard from Director of Cornwall CLT, Andrew George that CLTs are trying to address specific local need in a particular way. He said a hard headed, pragmatic approach was needed as, “you can’t knit houses out of hope.”

George explained that in Cornwall there are more than 20,000 families on the housing register and many others who never put their names down because they know they will never get anything through the council. People need to be on the register to rent through Cornwall CLT so they have actively encouraged people to join.

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Could community-led housing tackle London’s housing crisis?

Amy Hall from the BHCLT team was in London on Wednesday 19 September for an event on community-led housing in the capital, hosted by Impact Hub Islington.

The housing system in the UK is broken and community-led housing could provide part of the solution. This was the starting point for the ‘How could we make community-led cohousing the next big thing in London?’ event, outlined by facilitator Joost Beunderman, Director of Impact Hub Islington.

“Pumping more money into a broken system is not going to get us the change we really need,” he pointed out.

Alex Whitcroft, a Director at KIN, was the main speaker for the evening. KIN are architects, ethical developers, and community enablers for sustainable and community-led housing. He is also a co-founder of community housing group Cohousing London seeking to build inclusive affordable homes across London.

Alex highlighted, as well as there being a massive housing shortage, the built environment has a big impact on the environment. “We are a big part of the problem that the world is facing,” he said.

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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.

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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.

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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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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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Celebrate at the BHCLT Annual General Meeting

Help build the movement for more affordable and community-led housing in Brighton & Hove.

Join us on Wednesday 12 September at One Church, Brighton, for our Annual General Meeting. We will also be celebrating the successes of our members in launching so many new community-led housing projects over the past year.

Book your place here at Eventbrite

Community Land Trusts (CLTs) act as long-term stewards of housing, ensuring that it remains genuinely affordable, based on what people actually earn in their area, 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.

This is the perfect opportunity to get more involved with Brighton & Hove Community Land Trust (BHCLT) and help shape our future. To vote in the AGM you must be a BHCLT member. Do that for just £1 here.

During the AGM we will be electing new BHCLT Directors. We are looking for a range of people to apply so please help spread the word. More information can be found here.

We will also be approving our collective response to Brighton & Hove City Council’s Draft City Plan Part Two.

After the AGM we will have a shared meal together at 7.20pm. Please bring food to share. Tea, coffee, water and juice will be provided.

We will then be celebrating the success of our new local community-led housing groups, hearing from some of them about their journeys so far. We will also be looking forward at what is next for BHCLT and our community-led housing programme.

Join us to get involved and help shape our future. Book your place here at Eventbrite.

Please arrive at 5.30pm on Wednesday 12 September. The event will start at 6.00pm at the One Church, Gloucester Place, Brighton, BN1 4AA.

We apologise that the venue is not easily accessible for wheelchair users or those with mobility difficulties. However, we’ll make every effort to help you access the event if you’d like to join us. Please get in touch on admin@bhclt.org.uk with any questions.

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Keswick knows: learning from another CLT

On Tuesday 10 July one of BHCLT’s Directors, Rita Garner, visited Keswick Community Land Trust in the Lake District for a National CLT Network See it and Believe it event, including a tour of three sites and some useful talks and discussion on finances.

See it and Believe it events are immersive peer-to-peer learning events that give attendees direct access to a variety of community land trust projects across the country.

Keswick CLT was formed following a Churches Together community consultation where it was clear that affordable housing was a big issue in the area.

The visit was particularly useful as Keswick experiences some of the same housing issues as Brighton: House prices are relatively high, and it is within The Lake District National Park. There is a high proportion of second homes and holiday lets.

The projects the tour profiled varied in size and how much involvement the CLT had in their building. Calvert Way had 22 of the 55 homes owned and managed by Keswick CLT. Banks Court was a converted toilet block with four one bedroomed flats on two storeys. The Hopes was the first development with land belonging to St John’s Church sold at a price that meant affordability was possible.

Overall the trip was very inspiring – seeing what has been achieved by a group of local people without background in housing, responding to what came up as the most important local issue.

More on the Keswick visit can be found here at the National CLT Network website.

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We’re recruiting new Directors – help shape our future

Brighton & Hove Community Land Trust is looking for new Directors to help build the movement for community-led housing and land in the city.

We recognise that a wide and diverse set of skills and experiences is vital to developing the Trust and that the more diverse our movement is, the stronger it will be. We would like our board to be more representative of Brighton & Hove in terms of race, gender, class, disability and other factors so we encourage people from underrepresented groups to apply.

Directors are responsible for steering BHCLT’s strategic direction, ensuring that the Trust works to: Continue reading

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Join the movement for community-led land and housing

3 May 2018

Brighton & Hove Community Land Trust (BHCLT) is holding its first General Meeting on Tuesday 8 May at the One Church, Gloucester Place, Brighton, BN1 4AA. 5.30pm – 8.30pm.

The meeting will be a chance to find out more about BHCLT, contribute to our vision and values and socialise with others interested in developing land and housing for future generations. There will also be a chance to stand as a Director of the Land Trust.

There will be a shared meal during the event so people are encouraged to bring food to share.

BHCLT was founded in 2017 and wants to put housing development back in the hands of people who need it. Our vision is of a city better designed to meet local housing and community needs by engaging the communities themselves in their development.

Brighton & Hove Community Land Trust aims to:

  • Develop affordable housing and other community assets.
  • Support other community-led groups developing such assets.
  • Acquire or lease land protected for community benefit.

BHCLT is a central resource for community-led housing in Brighton & Hove, including housing co-operatives, cohousing and self-build projects, developed through local people working together. These projects bring more affordable housing to the city. Our work to support community-led housing is being supported by Brighton & Hove City Council (BHCC) through the Community Housing Fund.

BHCLT Community-led Housing Programme includes:

  • Housing Ourselves: Financial support through grants to housing groups.
  • Discovering suitable land and properties and helping groups acquire them for housing projects.
  • Connecting local people who want to start their own housing projects and providing them with expertise and support.
  • Raising awareness and building knowledge about housing with local people, the council and others who work in housing.

Rita Garner, BHCLT Director said: “There is currently an exciting buzz about community-led land and housing development in Brighton & Hove.

“We recognise that a wide and diverse set of skills and experiences is vital to developing the Trust. We would welcome people from all walks of life to join our friendly team of Directors and help make some of the ideas a reality..”

BHCLT is looking for Directors who can bring:

  • Commitment to participatory, collaborative and co-operative ethics and practices.
  • Willingness to develop a strategic overview for relations with the city’s neighbourhoods and communities.
  • A contribution of two or more years of ‘office’ to the Trust.
  • Time for 12 Board meetings a year; time to participate in subgroup meetings as they arise; some time outside of meetings to be part of a rolling programme of events.

Directors must be a member of the BHCLT. Information on membership can be found here: https://bhclt.org.uk/membership/

More information on the meeting and becoming a director can be found here: https://bhclt.org.uk/brighton-hove-community-land-trust-general-meeting-and-social-8th-may/

There is limited space for the meeting, so booking is essential, via Eventbrite.

We apologise that the venue is not easily accessible for wheelchair users or those with mobility difficulties. However, we will make every effort to help people access the event if they would like to join us. Contact admin@bhclt.org.uk to ask any questions.

For more information contact info@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 280 Community Land Trusts (CLTs) in England and Wales. Find out more at: https://bhclt.org.uk/
  2. Community Land Trusts have developed over 800 permanently affordable homes and are working to develop an additional 5800 homes in the next few years. Find out more at the National CLT Network website: http://www.communitylandtrusts.org.uk/
  3. A national Community Housing Fund of £60 million has been 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, which is acting as the lead partner in this programme of work, alongside Mutual Aid In Sussex (MAIS) to deliver the Community-Led Housing Programme.
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