Local Authority Loans and Grants

A growing number of local authorities across England and Wales have provided loans and grants for CLT developments. Here are some examples.

Cornwall Council

Cornwall Council and Cornwall CLT jointly operate a £4m revolving loan fund for CLTs. The Council use their borrowing powers to provide loan funding at cost to local CLTs for use as short term development finance, either for the purchase of land or property or for construction. The loan interest rate is 4.1% to ensure cost neutrality to the Council.

The revolving loan fund was initially for £1m but was extended to £4m in recognition of the important role CLTs play in the provision of intermediate housing in the county. To March 2014, Cornwall CLT has supported the development of 126 affordable homes in ten local CLTs with a further potential pipeline of 140 homes.

East Cambridgeshire District Council

In the District of East Cambridgeshire CLTs have become the preferred delivery mechanism for affordable housing. There had been a consistent lack of affordable houses being built in the district, with the more traditional providers failing to build.  Rural exception site development was lacking community support and landowners saw no market advantage because they believed the village/town envelope would expand and their land would eventually fall into scope. Whether perception or reality, local homes were believed to be not for them by local people, due to wider local allocation policies, and this resulted in a lack of community buy-in.

CLTs are seen as offering a way to bring forward affordable housing with community support.

The District Council have provided start-up funding to CLTs in the district (mirroring the national CLT Fund grants available) and have funded the secondment of a specialist adviser to the regional CLT umbrella, CLT East, to provide the vital one-to-one technical support to start up groups in the District. In addition, where the New Homes Bonus applies to CLT homes, the Bonus will be given by the Council to the CLT to help finance the early years of management of their project.

In addition, the Council has since actively promoted CLTs through their local plan – there is a specific policy for community-led development in the local plan as well as supplementary planning guidance on the policy. The policy permits affordable housing outside the development envelope as an exception to normal policy where certain criteria are met, including that the scheme has been initiated by, or is being led by, a legitimate local community group, such as a parish council or CLT.

East Devon District Council

East Devon District Council provided a short term loan to Beer CLT to build out their scheme of 7 homes, using borrowing from the Public Works Loan Board to on lend to the CLT.

To learn in more detail about accessing funding through your local authority, contact your regional CLT Umbrella or your regional point of contact if you are a member of the National CLT Network.


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