Brighton and Hove CLT is a Community Benefit Society with powers to hold land and to manage development. We are currently building up the organisation and have had grants for this purpose from the UK Community Land Trust Network and from Brighton and Hove City Council. Some of this money is going towards making local connections and sounding out opportunities for community-led developments. We are also looking for more directors and members and member organisations.
Prospects for Brighton and Hove
Brighton and Hove has limited land for development but there are sites around the city that could be used for affordable housing for local people. A CLT would be an ideal vehicle for managing some of this land in ways that are sensitive to local needs and that protect it from profit-driven exploitation. It would do this by putting local residents and experts in charge.
The land could come from benevolent landowners, or from organisations (such as the City Council) that have community benefit in their brief. The CLT may also acquire land commercially if there is a good business case for that.
Support from Brighton and Hove City Council
In its Housing Strategy and City Plan, Brighton and Hove City Council says it will promote the concept of community housing and consider the viability of CLTs and community-led development to maximise affordable housing for local people. The 2015 Fairness Commission recommended that ‘The council should offer council-owned and other publicly owned land, including sites on the city fringes and brown field sites, to mechanisms such as housing co-operatives, self-build groups and community land trusts to develop affordable social housing with the guarantee it will go to local people.’
A Community Land Trust could be a trustworthy vehicle to help realise these intentions.