On Tuesday 10th July we ran a See it and Believe it event at Keswick Community Land Trust. The day was a massive success with over 10 regions represented, numerous CLTs and community led housing groups present, a tour that covered 3 sites and talks that covered the nitty gritty of financing a CLT.
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. At these events there’s an opportunity to see the CLT developments, but also to ask those who made it happen anything from design to financing. It’s also a great opportunity to build new relationships with those also passionate about community led housing.
About Keswick CLT
What Keswick CLT achieved is remarkable and completely achievable. A mixture of innovation, collaboration and determination is what saw the CLT gain its success. In 2009 members of the Keswick Churches Together consulted their community and identified the shortage of local affordable homes as the top concern.
Having started with no money, land or construction experience those same members of the community have now built fifteen new affordable homes, are half way through constructing twenty two more and have other sites in mind. You can see why we were excited for this event and why we had attendees who traveled from as far as Brighton (over 360 miles) for it.
About the day
It’s the people that make the See it and Believe it (SiBi) events such a positive experience. The exchanging of knowledge, building of relationships and troubleshooting issues makes for a vitalising day.
The focus of this SiBi was finance - plotting out the stepping stones necessary to build a successful community land trust housing development. With this in mind we had talks from Andy Lloyd, Bill Bewley, Beth Boorman and Tom Chance.
One of the most powerful aspects of the community land trust community is that many within it are experts in their own right. That’s why we dedicated a segment of the day to peer-to-peer learning. We finished the day with a speech from our Acting Director, Tom Chance and Chair of Keswick CLT Bill Bewley.
A few words from our Director, Tom on the day and the community-led housing movement:
“I think a lot of people are sceptical about the power of local communities. It's hard to believe that ordinary people could raise millions of pounds and build affordable housing. The team behind Keswick CHT show that is possible, and make it sound so easy! Their tours were superb, and they were able to answer every detailed question. I was struck by how knowledgeable they had become, and how lightly they carried the work involved. I hope everyone was as inspired as I was”.