The following are the answers to commonly asked questions about community led development and how it could help Waterbeach.
What is a Community Land Trust (CLT)?
A Community Land Trust (CLT) is a charity organisation owned and run by the local community to develop the local area for the benefit of the whole community.
A CLT could:
- Develop housing for affordable rent for local residents in perpetuity
- Develop houses for sale as shared equity, shared ownership or limited resale price to be truly affordable
- Develop community spaces, green space, shared working space and amenities
- Develop in a way which suits the needs of the village community
Why do we need a CLT?
With house prices being so high in the Cambridge area, owning a home is a challenge for young people in the village. Even with a good job and saving hard it can take a long time to build up a deposit. It is even more difficult if you are renting, indeed market rents themselves can be difficult to afford. I have lived in Waterbeach for my whole life, but can’t afford to buy here. I know other young people in the same position. There isn’t currently any help available for local people or those with a connection to the village to make a home here.
The main reasons for a CLT are:
- House prices are too high
- “Affordable” houses aren’t affordable
- Developments aren’t interesting
- Houses are small and don’t meet people’s needs
- Some people aren’t eligible for affordable housing
- Affordable housing is more difficult to reserve for village people
What are the benefits of a CLT?
A CLT has the aim of developing housing and community facilities for the benefit of the community. It is community-led development for the community. Everyone who lives and works in the village can be a member and have a say in how it is run.
CLTs have a broader range of things they can do for affordable housing. It also can support a wider range of people since it is open to the whole community. This means people who don’t think they are eligible for “affordable” housing can still be helped by a CLT.
A CLT can set its allocation policy, so it can set aside housing and develop to meet the needs of village people.
A CLT scheme can provide affordable, CLT owned homes and open market homes. The CLT homes are protected by an asset lock, so will be owned by the CLT in perpetuity for the benefit of the community. They can have affordable rent, shared ownership or limited resale price, among other options, to keep them truly affordable.
There are opportunities for self build and custom build, these can allow people to design, and build their own homes which suit their needs. They could also put in their own efforts to keep the costs down.
What are its vision and aims?
We are right at the start of the process so you have the opportunity to help use define our vision and aims by telling us you are interested or joining the steering group.
The whole point of a CLT is community led development for the benefit of the community, but this can take a lot of different forms. We will be looking at all the options
How does membership work?
Everyone who lives and works in the local area is eligible to be a member. Members get a say in how the CLT develops the community and what its priorities are. Once the CLT is formally set up members will be able to join. Join the mailing list to stay informed about progress.
Being a member doesn’t have any time commitments, but you can get as involved as you want.
Who is eligible to join?
Anyone who lives or works in Waterbeach is eligible to join the CLT, you just need to pay the membership. If you sign up to the mailing list we will let you know when we formally set up the CLT so you can join.
How can I help?
We are looking for people who want to get involved, either as a member when we formally set up, or to join the steering group and get more involved.
If you have any relevant skills, or a vision for how you think a CLT could help the community we want your help. We really need people with experience in finance, legal, housing, development and business, if that is you please contact us!
We are also looking to spread the word about what we are trying to set up, so tell your friends, family and anyone else in the village.
We are also looking to gauge demand for those who could benefit from a CLT, so those who are priced out of the housing market, looking for affordable rent, have children who have moved away, or want to live closer to your work.
You can let us know all these things by signing up to the mailing list.
I’m looking for a home?
If you think a CLT could help you get your own home we really want to hear from you as you are the reason for it to exist. Please join our mailing list.
If you have any other questions please contact us