We want to mainstream the community ownership of affordable land and housing
We face many challenges that come back to land ownership – the cost of housing, left behind communities, the climate crisis.
Public policy and market practice is struggling to meet these challenges.
- Our planning system and housing market are dominated by a shrinking number of developers that too often produce unaffordable and poor quality homes, which local communities don’t want.
- Our most deprived communities have little or no agency to turn things around and are neglected by the mainstream market actors.
- Communities directly affected by climate change can’t take the lead in transitioning to net zero, nor in making their neighbourhoods more resilient to climate shocks.
CLTs offer communities a way to tackle these challenges head on, building back better and strengthening their community in the process.
In villages, towns and cities, rural and urban areas, CLTs are forging locally driven solutions that strengthen economic, social and environmental sustainability. From converting a toilet block into flats to building a 500 home garden village, turning a disused village school into an enterprise centre to bringing large tracts of farmland into better stewardship – all through democratic community ownership of the land.
Mainstream – not a niche
Our vision is that these are not isolated examples, but the norm.
That every community can form a CLT to meet their local housing need.
That every local authority considers the CLT model for major regeneration and development sites.
That every developer and housing association considers the CLT partnership model for its projects.
“Our long-term aim is that most CLTs won’t need community housing funds and start up funds and the like, because CLTs would have the same access to finance and funding as any housing association or developer.”
“CLTs are a core element of our development strategy and we’ve seen first-hand the vital difference they can make. This is all about empowering people and thinking in terms of communities, not simply homes and infrastructure.”
What's standing in the way of this vision?
Too much public policy and market practice sidelines communities, or puts barriers in their way.
Much of our work at the Community Land Trust Network is focused on removing those barriers, one by one, so that communities can realise their vision. We ask ourselves what is required for ‘potential do-ers’ to learn about CLTs, get active, develop the knowledge, skills and capacity, engage market partners and secure the land and finance to meet their communities’ needs.
We are building the market infrastructure. The network of enabler hubs we have supported across England and Wales aims to provide a self-sustaining body of expertise to support CLTs and their partners – landowners, housing associations, developers, local authorities – to ensure CLT projects are delivered efficiently.
We are changing market practice. Showing landowners, housing associations, developers, local authorities how they can work in a different way, in partnership with communities-as-landowners. We support and promote best practice, working with industry bodies.
We are changing public policy. We develop and advocate for changes that will remove barriers that hold CLTs back, and for more radical reforms that put community power at the heart of policy agendas.