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.
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.