Start a CLT

Interested in starting a CLT? Here's how we can help you take your first steps.

There is no "correct" way to start a Community Land Trust. This diagram shows the main five steps.

  • Group - set up a new steering group, recruit members of the community, agree what you want the CLT to achieve, incorporate and develop a business plan.
  • Site - find a suitable site, including investigating any potential problems and how much you can pay for it, then get the money to buy it.
  • Plan - work up a full planning application, with detailed plans for your homes and other facilities, and get planning permission.
  • Build - there are lots of options from building them yourselves, using a local contractor or leaving it to a partner housing association.
  • Live - once you have people living in your homes, you may work as their landlord, or oversee a managing agent or landlord you've partnered with, as well as decide how to use any surplus for the benefit of your community.

Of course life rarely goes to plan, and you might not follow this exact route. Sometimes a site comes along and you form a group to buy and use it. Existing community organisations can start CLTs, and housing associations and developers can decide to form a CLT to complete a project they already had in mind.

How you can get started

We provide funds and resources to set you on your way.

If you live in an area covered by a CLT Umbrella, your best first step is to contact them. You'll find a list on this page. They may be able to provide you with all the hands-on support you need to succeed.

Otherwise, you can apply to our Start Up Fund to get up to three days of free advice from our network of technical advisers, and a grant of up to £4,000. This fund will help you work out if a CLT is for you, scope out what you might want the CLT to achieve, develop a business plan and incorporate with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

There are other sources of funding as you proceed from starting up to investigating sites, planning your scheme, and so on. Look in the funding section of our website for links and tips.

You can also read our free online resources, particularly the guidance on starting a CLT and building your membership.

If you've any questions or want some advice, you can always get in touch with us and we'll do our best to help.