Tag Archives: community-led housing

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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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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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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How can community rights bring us more affordable housing?

Community Rights were introduced in the Localism Act 2011. They give a community a greater say over how their community develops.Community Rights can help to save community assets such as local shops, pubs, libraries, parks and football grounds. They can also be used to decide what is built in an area and how the area develops.

The Right to Build gives communities the power to build housing,shops or community facilities without going through the normal planning process.

Join us on Wednesday 5 September, 5.30pm-7.30pm at Friends Centre, 1A Isetta Square, 35 New England Street, Brighton, BN1 4GQ for a free workshop with Dave Boyle of The Community Shares Company. Dave will outline how a community rights approach might be used to create housing and give some examples of where this is already happening. Continue reading

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What does the new Community Housing Fund mean for the support we offer?

The Government announced a new multimillion pound Community Housing Fund in July this year.

The Fund will be managed by Homes England and will come in two phases: phase one opened on 7 July and will help groups to ‘capacity build’ i.e. cover costs during the planning stages and the second phase will be capital grants to pay for the purchase and refurbishment of homes or the construction costs for new homes.

This means that groups of people who want to set up their own community-led housing projects can now apply to Homes England for the kind of capacity-building and pre-development work that BHCLT has been supporting through our Housing Ourselves grants.

In the light of this opportunity, we have paused the grants offered by our local Community-Led Housing Programme until we see the outcome of local groups’ applications to Homes England. We have decided that this makes sense for BHCLT because the Community Housing Fund is nationally available funding and the more groups that apply from Brighton & Hove, the more investment into community-led housing we have the chance of bringing into the city. If we use our small and finite local pot for the same applications, the support in the city will be short-lived: grants and the advice and support we are able to offer through our staff team would end in Autumn 2018. Our goal is to maximise the support available for community-led housing in the city for as long as possible for all groups (present and future).

We have produced an analysis of the prospectus summarising what local people can apply for and distilling the criteria they will need to meet. It is not that different to the expectations we have of applications to our grant fund: projects need to be ‘community-led’ and be formed as a legitimate community organisation (or on the way to being one), have outline business plans/cases, and financial plans and clarity about what you aim to do and who will live in the homes.

You can apply for very small sums (for example, to incorporate) or much larger sums, if you have a viable financial plan & have secured a viable interest in a property or site. If you need it, members of our team can support you to apply to this fund and we will be running some face to face advice sessions to provide support.

To find out more or get some support with your application to the Community Housing Fund contact our Programme Manager Andrea Jones in the first instance on admin[at]bhclt.org.uk.

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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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The hunt for a kid’s co-op

On Saturday 30 June, six of the city’s established housing co-operatives welcomed the BHCLT housing co-op bus tour into their homes.

Nine year old Lilah from Lilliput housing co-operative joined the afternoon tour with a secret mission to find a kid’s co-op where the children have power and control as adults do.

She made a video about her quest and here it is:The Hunt for a Kid’s Co-op from Heidi Bachram on Vimeo.

Lilliput housing co-operative is going to create a neighbourhood of nine small, low cost homes. They are running a survey to gauge demand for the project and start a mailing list for interested parties. Find out more and fill it in here.

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Summer social

Join us on Thursday 26 July, 5.30-7.30pm, to meet others interested in community-led housing. Our summer social will be hosted by Team Domenica at Café Domenica, Preston Circus.

Community-led housing includes co-operatives, cohousing and self-build, all developed through local people working together. BHCLT supports groups of people who want to start their own projects.

At the event we will hear from people who want to set up their own housing projects:

  • Are you a community-led housing project/group looking for more members? 
  • Are you an individual with a great idea that you’d like to pitch to find more supporters? 

We are looking for people to pitch their ideas at the summer social. Email Dot, our Community Enabler, on dotkirk[at]bhclt.org.uk to get a slot!

Would you like to just come and hear more about what others are up to? That’s fine! Just turn up! 

The summer social will take place at Café Domenica, 5-7 Preston Road Brighton BN1 4QE. There will be free hot drinks and snacks. The venue is relaxed and wheelchair accessible (including the toilet), but if you need anything specific to be able to join in, get in touch.

Can’t make the social but still want to let people know about your idea? We have an online noticeboard here.

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