CLT Network growth

The National Community Land Trust Network has published the first State of the Sector report, which shows that Community Land Trusts (CLTs) have experienced significant growth. From 20 groups in 2008, there are now 347 CLTs in 2020.

A member of the Housing Diversification group with NaCSBA, the National Community Land Trust Network represents the interest of people working to create community led housing using the Community Land Trust model in England and Wales.

Recently referred to as the future of social housing by Danny Kruger MP, CLTs and  community led housing in general are delivering notable economic, social and environmental benefits, as reflected by the report.

The State of the Sector report found that:

  • CLTs exist where need is the greatest, that is in the most unaffordable areas of the most unaffordable regions and in the most deprived areas of the most deprived regions.
  • They build quality homes that are affordable to local people. It’s this that breeds trust and generates wide-spread community support.
  • CLTs are forging meaningful partnerships with local authorities, housing associations and other community anchor organisations throughout England.
  • The trajectory of home delivery is strong. with now over 1,000 completed homes. Approximately 7,000 CLT homes are currently expected to be built or refurbished over the next five years.

Covering 12-years, the report indicates that more communities in England and Wales are turning to CLTs as a route to vital, high-quality local housing. The pandemic has highlighted the seriousness of unsuitable and insecure housing. Conditions need to improve and with new housing construction expected to play a major role in the country’s economic recovery, CLTs are poised and ready to play their part too.

However, to secure the continued growth and delivery of CLTs, and community led housing in general, it is essential the Community Housing Fund gets a five year renewal – a missed opportunity as it failed to get a mention in the recent Comprehensive Spending Review.

A five year renewal of the fund is one of the targets of the Housing Diversification group, which will continue to lobby for the renewal.

The National CLT Network is calling for the government, lenders, landowners and developers to back community led housing and help CLTs to become a mainstream housing market. It is also asking that anyone interested in supporting the case for the funding to be extended can use the organisations template letter to write to the chancellor.

If you would be willing to support us in making the case for the CHF please write to the Chancellor using this template.

Tom Chance, joint chief executive of the National CLT Network, said:

“In just over ten years we’ve seen a handful of pioneering community groups become a niche housing market. As our report shows CLTs are developing quality, affordable housing in the areas where they are most needed. But more can be done and as Covid-19 has shown, desperately needs to be done.

“As the sector looks to mainstream the community ownership of housing and land we need the support of government and lenders. Together we can build a mainstream market that delivers.”

What is a Community Land Trust?

Community land trusts (CLTs) are a form of community led housing, created and  run by people who want to develop and manage homes locally. And it may not just be housing, but other assets important to the community, such as community enterprises, food production or workspaces.

CLTs act as long-term stewards of housing, ensuring that it remains genuinely affordable in perpetuity, based on what people actually earn in their area, not just for now but for every future occupier.

Find out more about community led housing in general at Community Led Homes. 


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