The Community Land Trust Network calls for policies to make community led development account for at least 5% of housing in the UK in the next five years

Home K Policy and Campaigning K The Community Land Trust Network calls for policies to make community led development account for at least 5% of housing in the UK in the next five years

The CLT Network has published their 2024 Community Land Trusts Manifesto with policies that would enable community led developments to account for at least 5% of housing development in the UK by 2029. According to the CLT Network, this would enable the completion of 15,000 new homes a year and would generate over £1 billion of community wealth.

The manifesto sets out 10 policies that would address common barriers to community development, ownership, and agency for CLTs that are creating and managing community homes and assets, sustainable energy projects or stewarding land for biodiversity. 

The policy asks in summary:

4 people stand in front of a row of terraced homes in front of a sign saying "Putting the Hi in highstreet". In the middle is a woman holding a toddler

Housing, Regeneration and High Streets

1. Community Led Development Sites, to give Local and Neighbourhood Plans the ability to allocate sites and parcels of large sites for community development.

2. Large site stewardship, to require that community assets are owned and stewarded by a democratic and accountable body and promote opportunities for CLTs to commission and codesign more of these assets with councils, developers and housing associations.

3. Community led regeneration, to enable residents to form a CLT to have greater agency in the redevelopment of social housing estates and other important assets in partnership with councils, housing associations and developers, including reviving the regulations for the Right to Transfer.

4. Affordable housing pre-development finance, to provide for enablers of community led development to agree strategic grants with Homes England, the Welsh Government and the GLA to draw down finance for pre-development work, working with communities to acquire sites and gain planning permission for community approved designs, and bring these de-risked projects to partner developers and housing associations.

5. Leasehold and commonhold, to replace leasehold with commonhold as the default arrangement but maintain exemptions for CLTs, and ensure reforms protect the CLT governance model.


We've identified five product types that, if scaled up, could develop 278,000 more community led homes

A Community Ownership Strategy

6. A community ownership fund, to enable the purchase of any asset that the community deems of social, economic or environmental value and with a funding stream to develop new sector-based intermediaries.

7. A community Growth Lab, to provide a £150m endowment to support the development of the ‘missing market’ of delivery and finance intermediaries to support community ownership at scale.

8. A Community Right to Buy, a right of first refusal to buy assets of community value and public assets for sale at an independently valued price.


We've identified five product types that, if scaled up, could develop 278,000 more community led homes

Rethinking Land, Nature Restoration and Farming

9. Review policies and funding for nature restoration and farming, to incentivise support for community ownership of nature and farming projects.

10. Establishing Land Commissions, to reform land markets, embed social purpose in land ownership, and promote greater community ownership of land

The manifesto also includes a section for Welsh CLTs, calling for further devolution for the Senedd to implement these proposals in Wales. 

This manifesto is the result of over 15 years of practice, research and consultation, among a network of 350 CLTs with over 2,000 assets, Community Led Housing Enablers, and collaboration with organisations like the UK Cohousing Network and the Confederation of Co-operative Housing.

Read the full 2024 Community Land Trusts Manifesto today.

Image reads Community Land Trusts Manifesto 2024 Maniffesto Ymddiriedolaethau Tir Cymunedol 2024. Click link to read the manifesto

The manifesto was launched at an event on 29th February, where attendees heard from a panel of sector experts who emphasised the importance of Community Land Trusts as a model to help meet the challenges of the affordable housing crisis while balancing quality, community needs and placemaking. 

The panel was chaired by Vicky Spratt (housing correspondent for iNews), and the panellists were Kane Emerson (YIMBY Alliance), Nicholas Boys Smith (Office for Place, Create Streets founder and CLT Network Board Member), Rose Grayston (Housing policy expert), and Mark Gregory (Chair of the Community Ownership Commission).

Watch the manifesto launch session back.


Tom Chance, CEO of the Community Land Trust Network commented, “Using CLTs, communities now own over 2,000 affordable homes, green spaces, shops, pubs and workplaces in England and Wales, with many more in the pipeline. But for many, reaching completion has been an incredible struggle against a system that doesn’t recognise this community agency.

“If we want to build enough high quality community homes, spaces and stewarding land for the benefit of their communities, we need to see these policy changes.”

Featured image of London CLT’s opening of their Citizen’s House housing project – image credit Yiannis Katsaris