Community Land Trusts

What is a Community Land Trust (CLT)?

Community Land Trusts (CLT) are non-profit, community-based organisations run by volunteers, which provide permanently affordable housing for local people and can provide other community-owned assets such as workspaces, pubs, and shops.

They enable access to the housing market for people who would otherwise be unable to afford their own homes. They do this by separating the land value from the property value, ultimately providing properties which require a lower mortgage, or, (in some cases) lower rental repayments, allowing residents to build up equity towards their next purchase.
If you would like to find out more about developing a CLT in Cheshire, please contact Tony Clare.

Background of CLTs

The Community Land Trust model for provision of affordable housing was developed in the US in the 1960s and is a commonplace approach across the States where over 5,000 homes have been provided by CLTs. This approach to affordable housing has gathered momentum in the UK recent years with 135 CLTs nationally.

The development of Community Land Trusts in the UK has cross-party support and is seen by many as a valuable aspect of community development as well as part of the solution to affordable housing. CLTs are community-led and community controlled with all members of the community in which a CLT is developed having the opportunity to become involved in its operation.

Community Land Trusts Community Land Trusts Community Land Trusts
Cheshire residents learn from Bishops Castle project

Why set up a CLT?

Home ownership has become increasingly difficult for large sections of the population during recent years. In rural communities many workers find it difficult to live near to their place of work as house prices rise faster than wages. Part of the solution to this issue can be the establishment of Community Land Trusts (CLTs).

There is a number of benefits to setting up and running a CLT. Usually, the stimulus is a desire to create affordable homes that are available to local people who cannot afford open market housing.  However, often local people might take on another challenge facing their community, such as setting up a community shop, or purchasing the local pub when it is about to close.

  • CLTs are locally driven, controlled and democratically accountable.
  • CLTs can meet local housing need even in areas with very high house prices.
  • CLTs, by retaining an equity share in each property, provide housing that is permanently affordable, benefitting many generations of local residents.
  • CLTs give the community an asset for the future.
  • CLTs genuinely empower local communities, where communities are part of the vision and solution for their local area.

One of the main aims of CLTs is to enable people to own their own homes but some CLTs also provide rented accommodation (particularly in areas with a shortage of rental accommodation). In either event all profits made by the CLT are reinvested in the community.

Local Support

If you require any more information please contact John Heselwood on 01244 400222.