Blog authored by Polly Adams-Felton, Project Manager at the National CLT Network
The community land trust movement has made great strides over the past decade, but there’s more to be done to diversify the movement and help local CLTs to be truly representative of the areas they serve.
From just 14 CLTs in 2008 this number has grown to over 300. The movement has been propelled thanks to the strength, resilience, ingenuity and tenacity of many remarkable people.
The CLT approach is helping communities to take control of matters that are important to them and impact the day to day lives of residents: housing, pubs, community centres, post offices and many other places and spaces.
A combination of spending cuts and a lack of services and affordable or suitable housing are bringing people together across England and Wales. They are harnessing and sharing their skills and experiences and exercising their collective power to grow and protect the areas they care about.
In lots of cases CLTs have and are forming because the system is failing ordinary people. CLTs have open and democratic structures to ensure they are genuinely community-owned and controlled. But growing a broad membership can be hard. Really hard. Let’s not forget that most CLTs are being run by volunteers.
But it’s worth it. Every community is different. Every person is different. Everyone has skills, knowledge and life experiences that a CLT can benefit and grow from.
That’s why the National CLT Network has launched the Cohesive Communities Fund.
Thanks to funding from M&G Investments and Power to Change we will be providing grant funding to cover capacity and technical advice costs, residential training events and support to help CLTs achieve true representation through their group membership.
At the National CLT Network, we want to see a community led housing movement that promotes, enables and facilitates cohesion between people from different backgrounds and communities in making a neighbourhood and society work for everyone.
To qualify, your CLT must be in an urban area (population over 10,000). The programme is for groups eager to engage local people in order to increase the number of active members and consequently moving their community land trust forward. The fund is open to all eligible groups, but we particularly encourage applicants from women, BAME, disabled and LGBTQ+ candidates.
The deadline for applications is Wednesday 14 August.
There is some way to go in terms of building truly representative membership in groups and more generally, diversify engagement with the sector. However, with the scale of the movement increasing and a now proven appetite from corporate entities for community led development, we are one step closer to achieving this.
Through the Cohesive Communities Fund, we hope groups can continue their endeavours to be entirely inclusive and thus strong, powerful and formidable protectors of their communities.
More details about the Cohesive Communities Fund, including information on how to apply can be found here. If you have any questions about the fund please do get in touch with me.