Author: Tom Chance, Director, National CLT Network
Eight years ago the National CLT Network was launched, tasked with growing the nascent CLT movement from just 10 CLTs. Today, having grown to over 300 CLTs with almost 1,000 homes, we are launching Community Led Homes. Community Led Homes is a collaboration between the National CLT Network, the Confederation of Co-operative Housing, Locality and the UK Cohousing Network.
This launch is the fruition of two years of development work and negotiation with our partners and funders. We have come together to make it easier for communities to access support and build a lasting movement. You can find out what this collaboration will involve here.
In some ways, this joint working catches us up with the collaboration and hybrid approaches being taken by you, our members. Brighton & Hove CLT is taking on the freehold of a property that it will lease to a student housing co-op. Bridport Cohousing CLT is fusing the two concepts into a single project. Glendale Gateway Trust is a community anchor that morphed into a CLT hybrid to renovate and revive homes in Wooler.
You are demonstrating that there is strength in the diversity of community led approaches and that it is the concept of the community taking the lead that unites us, that makes us different to the housing mainstream. It is better to provide support, resources, and data for that general concept, and to help communities explore whether a CLT is part of their approach than to continue with multiple confusing sources of advice and help.
We still think there is something special about CLTs.
CLTs are conceived in community, and dedicated to the proposition that your village, town or city neighborhood can best thrive with more land held in common. When democratically controlled by the whole local community, land can be put to use to provide homes that meet local needs, to secure the future of local shops and services, and to revive neglected buildings and streets. Your examples, giving this vision concrete form, never cease to inspire me.
The National CLT Network will continue to listen to and support our members and to lobby and advocate on your behalf.
Where we can have greater impact, we will work through Community Led Homes. Where Enabler Hubs can best help you, we will support them to do so. We do not aim to do everything, to be everywhere, to muscle out others who can contribute. We know our real strength is as the sharp tip of your spear, using your strength to drive policy change; or as the nerve centre of a growing network, bringing some co-ordination and logic to the connections.
Whatever the metaphor, we’re here as a national body and in collaboration, to help ensure that every community that wants one can set up a CLT and secure their sustainability.