An introduction to Peninsula Villages Community Land Trust
What is a CLT?
A Community Land Trust (or CLT) is formed when people from a village, street, neighbourhood or town get together to create a not-for-profit organisation for the good of the community. Run completely by volunteers, a CLT strives to meet the long-term needs of its community by creating permanently affordable housing which remains owned by the community forever. A CLT is a ‘not-for-profit’ organisation, it acts as a long-term steward of housing, ensuring that it remains genuinely affordable, based on what people actually earn in their area, not just for now but for every future occupier.
Currently four villages are involved, supported by the Parish Councils of Bawdsey, Boyton, Hollesley and Shottisham, these villages have come together to form a CLT – Peninsula Villages Community Land Trust (PVCLT). By joining into one group it gives PVCLT a greater voice with local and national government.
PVCLT has been set up as an effective means of resolving some of the housing needs of local people. The area has a high proportion of holiday lets and second homes, which has resulted in high rents for local people who wish to stay close to their community and families. PVCLT will work to identify sites for affordable homes, engage with landowners, housing associations, developers and local authorities, and oversee a project from inception to completion.
CLTs have the flexibility to do many things not just provide homes. Other assets and amenities could include workspaces, recreational facilities, a shop, a café or pub or anything that the community is in need of. Ultimately CLTs allow communities to take more control of the future development of their area. In setting up PVCLT we have allowed this flexibility enabling the CLT to react to potential future needs.
Peninsula Villages CLT main purpose is:
To develop affordable housing for rent or shared ownership to enable local people to live and work in our villages making our communities more sustainable.
Who is involved in PVCLT?
PVCLT is run by a Board of Trustees, who comprise a group of local people.
How does it work?
CLTs form partnerships with landowners, developers and housing associations, the CLT is in place to ensure that genuine affordable housing is built as specified.
Homes and any other community assets are secured by the CLT in perpetuity via a statutory ‘asset lock’. As such, CLT homes fall outside of the ‘Right to Buy’ scheme.
PVCLT gives some control and influence over what is built and who it is for. The planning applications process remains unchanged, Parish Councils retain the legal responsibility to consider planning applications when presented. A CLT has no such power.
PVCLT will influence the selection of prospective tenants. There is an allocation policy to ensure priority is given to people living in the area who are eligible for this housing. On PVCLT owned schemes, local connection will be considered first and applicants will be prioritised to reflect their housing need.
It is important to note that a resident from one parish will be eligible for a property which is in another parish within the area that forms PVCLT.
Funding will depend on each project but could come from various bodies such as grants, national and local authorities, charities or commercial mortgages. Any surplus funds, should they happen, go back into new and future projects of PVCLT.