Supporting the growth of a European CLT movement

A lack of high-quality affordable housing isn’t just something the UK struggles with. Many cities and other urban regions across Europe are experiencing this too, especially across North-West Europe.
Community land trusts are helping to address these issues across England and Wales and the National CLT Network has played an important role in helping the movement grow from 20 CLTs in 2008 to over 300 just over a decade later.
While a community led housing movement exists in Europe, the CLT as a concept had yet to make a lasting mark. In 2017 there were just three CLTs in the North-West European region (excluding the UK). We wanted to share our expertise and help our European partners build their own strong and powerful CLT movement.
Project overview 
In 2017 we joined forces with London CLT, CLT Brussels, CLT Ghent, FMDV and the City of Lille authority on the Interreg NWE-funded Sustainable Housing for Inclusive and Coherent Cities (SHICC) programme.
Running over a three-year period (2017-2020), the aim of the programme was to prove the CLT concept, to create a supportive local, regional and national policy, funding and regulatory environment for CLTs and to build a movement across the region.
The key outcomes of the project were:
  • Four successfully established pilot CLTs
  • An early-stage support and funding package leading to the creation of 33 new urban CLTs
  • Market solutions for better and connected lending, as well as other funding options
Project achievements
  • Four successfully established pilot CLTs
Each of the four pilot projects has made great strides between 2017-2020. In-depth case studies have been produced for each as well as six other CLT projects across NW Europe. Find the full selection of case studies here.
  • An early-stage support and funding package leading to the creation of 33 new urban CLTs
Without early-stage funding and support, many CLTs would struggle to get out of the starting blocks. The National CLT Network’s 10-year Start-Up Fund proved this.
  • The development of a network of trained community led housing advisers across North-West Europe
Now a group of people looking to start a CLT in these countries can rely on a trained network of experts to get the ball rolling and help them make informed decisions.
  • In-depth policy research on building political support for CLTs in each country
This research resulted in important resources for groups to secure political support, including a European CLT Policy Paper and a Local Advocacy Toolkit.
Polly Adams-Felton, programme manager said:
Working with our international partners over the past three years, we have accomplished many important milestones to strengthen the CLT movement across North-West Europe. We are working towards a shared goal with shared ambitions and aspirations. By coming together and using our collective power we can grow this movement and ensure all families and communities can afford to live in their homes.
For more information on the SHICC project, its partners and resources, visit its website.