As a CLT, you will need to work with a range of partners to deliver your project. Your local authority will be a key partner and more and more local authorities are actively supporting the development of CLTs.
You may also decide that you'd like to partner with a housing association or developer to deliver your housing scheme. This section sets out some of the mutual benefits of doing so.
For a CLT, your local authority will be one of your main partners. It will be important to engage with them at an early stage. That way you save making time-consuming mistakes and can gain credibility and get your project moving forward quickly.
More and more local authorities are providing valuable support for CLTs as they can see that CLTs can help deliver their strategic objectives as a council. That includes putting in place planning and affordable housing policies that support CLTs, transferring assets or land at a price that is appropriate for the development of affordable housing, and providing seedcorn funding and capital funding, including through revolving loan funds.
See the link below for information on local authority loans and grants.
Some of the reasons why a local authority may want to support your CLT project:
- CLTs create community support for affordable housing and more of it - in a number of cases the community, through a CLT, has asked for more housing on a site than the local authority originally allocated;
- CLTs bring forward sites that would not otherwise be available for development - local landowners often would rather entrust their land to a local CLT than to a housing associations.
A number of CLTs have chosen to partner with a like-minded housing association in order to deliver their scheme. To find out about the different partnership arrangements available download the National CLT Network publication 'Trust and association'. For Members, there is guidance in the CLT Handbook in the Members' Area.
There are a number of reasons why a CLT might want to work with a housing association. Here are some of the main reasons:
- Access to expertise - staff in housing associations are specialists in all aspects of affordable housing;
- Access to financial capability - housing associations that develop have sizeable loan facilities from mainstream lenders;
- Access to grant - a CLT can access Government grant direct, but you will need to register as a Registered Provider, which can be an arduous process. By working with a housing association, they can access the grant instead.
There are a number of reasons why a housing association may want to work with a CLT:
- Community consultation and advocating for the project is done for them - there is less work for the housing association to do in consulting the community and advocating a scheme to a community;
- De-risks the planning process - with CLTs you have buy-in from the community, which makes securing community support at planning more likely. It can also speed up the planning process. The National CLT Network is currently supporting Demos's research on this matter.
- Access to funding - CLTs have been able to access funding that mainstream housing associations cannot access, such as Social Investment Fund or the Community Buildings and Housing Fund for pre-development costs. Historically, capital development grant has been made available exclusively to community led projects.
- Access to land - some landowners would rather entrust their land to a local CLT than to a housing association.
Some potential housing association partners can be found in the Our Associates page.
Private developers, particularly when looking to provide affordable housing as part of a larger development due to the obligations of a Section 106 agreement, have successfully worked in partnership with CLTs. Working with a CLT can ease relations with the local community and satisfy the local authority that the community will adequately benefit from any proposed development.