Community Land Trusts are popping up all over the UK, with the aim of bringing more buildings into community ownership in a bid to tackle some of the big social problems facing communities today. But what are they all about and why do they make good investments?
Here are the top five things we think you need to know about CLTs.
1. They’re a great replicable model which can provide a solution to the UK housing crisis.
UK cities have a significant housing problem. There are just not enough new homes being built to house the growing population, with reports estimating that we need to build around 340,000 homes each year to 2031 to meet demand, with a large percentage of these being affordable.
One of the problems is that, in cities and surrounding residential areas, house and rental prices are vastly inflated, so local people, essential key workers (think nurses, teachers and fire fighters) and families can often to be priced out, or left only with unsuitable accommodation options. The loss of families and essential key workers is extremely detrimental to these communities.
The devastating knock-on effect is that at least 320,000 people were without homes last year, according to reports by Crisis. Rough sleeping has risen by 169% since 2010 - a shocking set of statistics for the 5th largest economy.
Community Land Trusts are tackling this growing problem head on, by creating permanently affordable housing for local residents as well as vital community-owned and run amenities, such as shops, offices, pubs, cafes and gardens which in many areas having been in decline following 10 years of austerity.
2. They’re community-run organisations CLTs are not profit-making businesses. They are set up and run by ordinary people within communities who care about the effect of the housing crisis within their area and want to do something about it.
The community owns and manages the properties, ensuring they are permanently-affordable and not susceptible to hikes in house prices and available for local people who need them. See infographic below from The National Community Land Trust Network that brilliantly explains how CLTs work.