Many Community Land Trusts (CLTs) are considering becoming Registered Providers. This enables CLTs to access Homes England funding for rented homes without them going into a partnership with a housing association. It can also lower their borrowing costs. But for many, the lengthy registration process puts them off.
We've been raising these issues for many years now, with roundtable meetings in 2011 and 2015. This month we had another with the regulator in its latest incarnation - the Regulator for Social Housing - and their counterparts in Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government. Geoff from Beer CLT, David from Lyvennet Community Trust, Bill Carr from the Northumberland Hub, John Dawson from Locality and Jon Fitzmaurice from Self Help Housing, were also in attendance and all shared their own experiences and frustrations.
The Ministry officials recognise that there could be more than 100 groups registering to take advantage of the Community Housing Fund. So we're working out a plan that includes: training up our advisers to better assist CLTs through the process; working with the regulator so they are more clear, consistent and helpful; and producing some guidance to help CLTs understand what's required.
Currently the regulator's category of "small" is under 1,000 homes. We're pushing the idea of a more proportionate process for 'micro providers' that have fewer than 50 homes. Watch this space, and in the meantime if you're considering or applying to become an RP please do let us know by emailing Kennedy Walker, our Campaigns and Communications Officer (firstname.lastname@example.org).