Partner Update - February

City of Lille

On 6 and 7 of November 2019, more than 350 professionals from the housing sector gathered in Rennes for the second national meeting of the Réseau Foncier Solidaire France. The OFS has been attracting interest since its implementation in 2017: 19 organisations have been accredited and 9,200 housing units are planned by 2024. After the 1st meeting organised in Lille in November 2018, the City of Lille had an active role in the organization of this 2-days event together with the Metropolis of Rennes and the French Federation for social housing cooperatives. During the meeting, different working groups have been held. The City of Lille organized one of them, in collaboration with the FMDV, Vincent le Rouzic (researcher) and Léa Teillet from Urbamonde. Speakers were able to present the perspectives for OFS and CLTs development at the European level, as well as the latest updates of the SHICC project. This exchange raised the question of existing and/or bridges to build between the CLT and OFS models, particularly with regard to issues of social income mix, mixed programs, and citizen engagement. At the end of the meeting, the stakeholders structured the governance of the network. They also submitted specific proposals to the Ministry with the objective of consolidating the model and supporting its development. The actors present thus reaffirmed the founding principles of the OFS - its social vocation, its non-profit nature, and its understanding as a tool for land markets regulation. This within the context of the recent report published by Jean-Luc Lagleize, MP for Haute-Garonne, on land issues.

The first NWE programme impact event was held on 4-5 December 2019 in Tourcoing, next to Lille. During this 2-days event, 370 participants got insights on the results achieved by the 83 NWE projects funded. The SHICC partners showcased the project’s achievements with a stand presenting various publications and information on CLT and OFS in the NWE area. The City of Lille together with the OFSML organized a site visit of the SHICC project: CLTs and OFS as a solution to the housing crisis. More than 40 participants took part in the visit of the Cosmopole operation – the first OFS project in Lille, before discussing the social impact of CLTs in London, Ghent, Lille and Bruxelles.

CLT Ghent

Obtaining land

CLT Ghent succeeded in obtaining the ground for our first CLT homes. We have a verbal agreement with the City of Ghent, the written contract has yet to be finalized in the upcoming months.

Planning and preparation

CLT Ghent has been planning the course of the upcoming year and is preparing everything to facilitate the building process and the habitation of the first 34 CLT homes in Flanders, Belgium. The majority of this preparation contains creating and finetuning the legal bodies on which this, and following, projects can lean. In cooperation with our future/interested residents, board members and experts we are working on themes like allocation, fees, capacity building, potential affordability allowances, etc. These themes will be eventually finalized in a document, which will form the base of our operations.

Warme Wijktuin

During the past years, Samenlevingsopbouw Gent vzw initiated a community garden called the 'Warme Wijktuin' on the ground of the upcoming CLT-project. This temporary use project is now coming to an end, as the first preparations of the building process are starting in a few months. We are now trying to relocate and anchor the project all over the Muide-Meulestede neighbourhood. That way the added value to the neighbourhood can continue on existing.

London CLT

London CLT getting ready to launch its second Community Share Offer
After a successful community share offer to fund the development of the St Clements site, London CLT is looking to raise ~£600,000 to fund the development of 40 homes at Cable Street, Shadwell between March and June this year.

London CLT partners with Quality of Life Foundation
London CLT’s chief executive will sit on the board of the newly created quality of life foundation. The foundation aims to develop a set of quality of life principles and come up with ways of affecting change in how the housing sector works.

London CLT speaking at the Academy of Urbanism housing event
London CLT’s chief executive, Calum Green spoke about the St Clements project and the GLA small sites program on 12th February.


The year 2020 is off to a flying start for us! The Working Group on Collaborative Housing Finance coordinated by FMDV has finally released a call for tender for the realisation of a pre-feasibility study on the financing of Collaborative Housing at the European scale. This exploratory work aims at analysing promising financial mechanisms to be put in place in the second phase of our programme in order to scale up the model.
The choice of the expert will be determined by mid-February for delivery of the work by late May. We very much hope to be able to present the results of this study at the “On Common Ground Conference” (Brussels, 3-4). Stay tuned!

In parallel, FMDV has also been busy finalizing a Financial Guide for CLTs development in Europe. This toolkit highlights 16 financial instruments enabling to deliver genuinely affordable homes in NWE. FMDV will be presenting this Report during an online webinar ‘Thursday February 27, 2020-3PM (CET). Don’t hesitate to join us register >here<

Finally, FMDV carried on strengthening partnerships between local groups and French OFS around the land and housing issues. FMDV has actively engaged with CoopEtoile (a resident’s cooperative) and urbaMonde - one of our associated partners- in order to unlock the Start-Up fund in France. CoopEtoile should be the first group to be supported by the SHICC programme on the territory, possibility followed by a second one later this winter.

These actions are notably part of the municipal elections (March 2020) where cities such as Paris or Montreuil have committed themselves to developing the OFS model locally.

National CLT Network

The Network is deep in its lobbying campaign urging the Government to renew the Community Housing Fund in the UK’s Spring Budget on 11 March. The Network learned from a Freedom of Information request that the previous iteration of the Community Housing Fund received requests for funding double what had been allocated, demonstrating the immense demand for Government funding for community led housing projects. Approximately 14,400 community led housing projects currently in the pipeline will lose momentum if the CHF is not renewed for five years in the upcoming budget. The Network has been lobbying Ministers, special advisers and influential MPs to place pressure on the cabinet and especially the Treasury. 

Combined with our member groups writing letters to their Members of Parliament and the Minister of Housing, these lobbying efforts have borne fruit. 19 community led housing groups whose projects were put on hold when their provisional CHF grants were unexpectedly withdrawn at the end of 2019, but after the campaigning, it was announced that their grants will go ahead pending due diligence checks.

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