Are you looking for a home? Last year we asked anyone who was looking for a CLT home to fill in a short Expression of Interest form. That information has been really useful to us in looking for a project, talking with developers and convincing South Cambs District Council to support the CLT as part of the new town development. We are looking to update this information as we get close to setting up our first project.
We continue to make progress following our recent incorporation. We have appeared at the recent Neighbourhood Forums which have been organised by South Cambs District Council. These offer a great opportunity to talk to local people about why we think genuinely affordable homes are important, but also to see Planners, Councillors and Developers and have the opportunity to talk to them about how we can help achieve benefit for the Community.
Waterbeach CLT is now Incorporated! It’s been a productive few months at Waterbeach CLT, and with the new year started we have some exciting news to share. In late January we received confirmation that the CLT has been formally registered and incorporated as a Community Benefit Society with charitable aims. This will allow us to act for the community in perpetuity. This is a big step for the CLT as we are now a formal body, so have a governing set of rules, and when dealing with the Council, developers or potential partners they can see we have community support and are serious about our aims.
We continue to make lots of progress with setting up the Community Land Trust for Waterbeach. We were successful in our grant funding application to SCDC. This means that we now have funds to cover the costs of our formal incorporation. We have been drawing up our model rules and will soon be making our application to become a Community Benefit Society. The housing crisis is still making headlines, with a number of major reports, like the Letwin Review, indicating that something different needs to be done, particularly with the development of larger sites like the one on the Barracks, which is what we are trying to do.
The housing crisis continues to be in the news a lot, and continues to affect our village, with local people being priced out of the market. With affordable housing being the top priority of the newly elected South Cambs District Council, our efforts to set up a Community Land Trust seem to have come at the right time, and community-led alternatives to speculative housebuilding are gaining national interest. It has been a busy couple of months for the Waterbeach CLT.
Scoping Exercise Last Tuesday the CLT Steering Group met again to carry out our Scoping Exercise for the CLT. This was led by Emily and Rachel from CLT East. The purpose of this was to help us gather together our vision and aims for the CLT, what we want to accomplish, who we want the CLT to help. It was really exciting to see all the ideas flowing and everyone wanting to contribute.
Recent Activities Things have been pretty busy at Waterbeach CLT in the last month. We have now formed a Steering Group to set up the CLT. Thanks very much to all those who have attended meetings. Last week we met with Emily from CLT East, who very kindly told us all about how a CLT works and what it can do for the community. (If you want to find out more about CLTs read our FAQ).
See it, Believe it Event This Tuesday I attended the National CLT Network’s See it, Believe it event at Stretham and Wilburton CLT. The purpose of the event was to show what SWCLT had achieved at their Manor Farm development, and they have achieved a lot. They are just completing phase two and eventually they will have 25 affordable homes in their development of 75. There were also attendees from CLTs across the country.
Types of “Affordable” Housing A CLT exists to provide affordable homes and community facilities for local people. But how can a CLT make homes affordable? Housing is expensive, especially in the Cambridge area, and saving for a deposit is hard. Even renting can be a challenge. Average house prices have reached 10x average incomes. And that’s before you have looked at areas which are higher than average. There are options to make housing more affordable, some of which are more effective than others.
Benefits of CLT One of the benefits of a CLT is that it has a lot wider options that technical “affordable” development. It can look at lots of other options, including self and custom build. What is self-build Self build is often a very good partner for CLT development because it helps to keep the cost down. Self build is where the person who wants a home does some of the work themselves, this can involve the actual manual work, like building walls etc, or could include time managing the site and organising trades etc.