BIG NEWS – London Citizens CLT signed their landmark agreement for funding with the GLA from the £38 million community housing fund.
The agreement secures over £2 million in funding for the Shadwell site at Cable Street to build 40 homes!
The GLA has agreed to forward fund the grant, an important element in funding agreements for cash-strapped community led housing groups. Now time to start finalising the site plans and get planning permission to start building!
The COVID-19 pandemic has shown the importance of having a decent home. This is particularly true for children who have not been able to go outside and play. A number of local organisations gathered as part of the meanwhile use of one of the future CLTB projects to organise activities for local children that do not have access to an outside area. Several Dutch-speaking media reported on this, see here, here and here.
The pandemic also shows the importance of resilient communities. This is a central part of CLTB’s work. A fundamental contribution to our community work has come from our European volunteers, spending a few months with us through the Interreg Volunteering Youth scheme. Albert Lemaistre, one of our current volunteers, has shared his daily work during the crisis in this blog post.
Finally, the pandemic shows that we cannot go back to the abnormality of before the crisis. Together with a number of organisations who are making the social, environmental, and economic transition a reality here and now, CLTB has published an open letter calling for the creation of a Brussels Regional Transition Council involving citizens, communities, transition organisations, and public authorities. The letter is available in French and Dutch here. Would you like to support us? Sign the petition here.
National CLT Network
NCLTN has been busy creating online resources for our members and the greater community led housing and CLT movements in England and Wales during the lockdown. In addition to our fortnightly elevenses chats with members based around topics of interest to them, we have started to roll out our monthly webinars with experts in their fields. The first webinar in the series took place in April and focused on the responsibilities of CLT directors, how to find the right ones for your CLT and how finding the right directors can make or break your CLT’s progress! Registration information for all our events can be found here.
We also hosted a very successful workshop for our members on social impact, which was attended by over 40 people. The workshop, led by professionals at Transformational Index, explained the importance that CLTs discover, measure and share their social impact on their communities in order to gain support from crucial supporters in the public and local authorities.
Finally, NCLTN is adapting to the quickly shifting timeline and asks of the Government during and after lockdown, making the case to policymakers that community led housing must be a key part of an economic recovery in the UK and should be supported in the Budget as such. Our co-chief executive Catherine Harrington has written a blog discussing the Network’s current thinking for this campaign.
FMDV has returned to the office after two months of lockdown in France! Throughout this period, we have continued our ongoing activities.
The Pre-Feasibility Study is well underway: 21 pilots responded to our survey, highlighting the needs of an emerging collaborative housing market at the European level. In parallel, our experts are currently exploring the experiences of 4 organisations to shed light on inspiring financial mechanisms to be replicated. In early July, our partners will participate in an online webinar to discuss a common Action Plan and frame the Feasibility Study to come (September 2020- September 2021).
FMDV also finalised the drafting of a European CLT Guide in collaboration with all our partners. This document, translated in 4 languages (English, French, Dutch, German) will be our flagship document taking stock of the CLT movement’s development across Europe.
A lot has happened in the past month on our temporary use project. Although COVID-19 has made working with volunteers a bit harder, we have managed to almost completely clear out our plot of land in preparation for the build of the first CLT homes in Flanders. In a second phase, there will also be an archaeological examination of the soil.
CLT Gent vzw is organising its annual General Assembly for the beginning of July. We are still planning the details, but it's clear that we will take a different approach due to COVID-19. The plan is to organise two sessions, the first one is a practical assembly and the second one (probably in September) will be a more content-related meeting. The General Assembly in July will be held online via easy to use platforms to communicate and of course, vote.