Partner update - September 2019

September 2019 has been a busy month for partners involved in the SHICC project and included multiple promotional events, celebrations and lobbying activities.

 

City of Lille

Prospective resident gathering
Residents of City of Lille’s first OFSML came together on Saturday 28 September to meet and share information about shared ownership (condominium).

Held in partnership with ADIL (Association for the Information on the Right to Housing) 12 out of the 15 households were represented resulting in a very productive discussion and exchange.

The OFS ripple

The City of Lille is in deep preparation for the second official meeting of the French OFS network will take place in Rennes in November. Helping to design the day which will feature a plenary session as well as thematic workshops, the event will promote and discuss the OFS model as well as providing peer to peer support.

Brussels CLT

Architects appointed
Brussels CLT has appointed PTA architects to undertake the design and construction of their Transvaal project. This has been a collective decision with future residents, members of the CLT and the wider community involved in the decision making.

The Transvaal project will include 15 homes, a communal garden and community space for Fefa - an association that promotes the emancipation of young people through sport.

Government backing

The new Brussels government has confirmed that fixing the housing crisis is a priority. To help do this the government will continue to support CLTB in recognition of their strength and achievements to date.

This is fantastic news and means that CLTB will be able to increase its activity, working with more people to deliver affordable housing in the region. 

Visitors from Berlin and Prague

On Friday 6 September Brussels CLT welcomed a delegation of directors representing 23 housing cooperatives from Berlin as part of a visit organised by the Cooperative Forum, an association dedicated to research on housing cooperatives. Joining the group were two architects from the Prague City Planning and Development Institute. 

CLTB led an inspiration tour of community led housing in the area which included a visit to their Arc-en-Ciel project and l'Espoir, the project that preceded CLTB.

CLT Ghent

Summer of togetherness
To promote their exciting plans of their groundbreaking development in Meulestede, CLT Ghent continued their summer of engagements - a chance for the community and neighbours to come together, relax and learn more about the proposals.

Backed by the city council, the scheme will comprise of 34 low-cost homes. This project separates the cost of the home from the cost of the land. This means instead of paying €300,000 for a home a family will pay €200,000.

In further good news, there is the possibility that the CLT will be able to buy the land of the site rather than lease it (currently it’s available on a 99-year lease). If this were to go ahead it would be very beneficial, saving the CLT considerable money and providing more security.

Press coverage secured:

FMDV

Financial modelling research
In September FMDV released its latest Report on Community Land Trusts (CLTs) financial models across Europe. Through an in-depth analysis of six case studies covering the United Kingdom, Belgium and France, this report sheds light on the diversity of the financial models developed by CLTs in order to deliver genuinely affordable homes.

FMDV will host a webinar to disseminate the results on October 10th (3PM). Register to take part >> here <<. 

 

Funding available
In parallel, FMDV worked with the City of Lille in order to promote the Start Up fund in France. As a result, two organisations should be applying for the next call on October 15 (Urbamonde and Soliha).

 

SHICC: the future
Finally, FMDV, along with other partners, started digging into post SHICC opportunities and met with MOBA and Uramonde in order to discuss their experimentation of setting up a European Cooperative Society in order to channel European funds. This discussion is to be continued with on November 7th in Brussels. 

 

Upcoming events
FMDV will be busy in this autumn with:

-October: CLT Finance webinar (October 10th, 3PM): registration link, Community of Practice on housing regulation (22, City of Paris & UCLG), 

-November : Second conference of the french OFS network (6-7), SHICC Steering Committee in Brussels (7-8)

-December: Interreg capitalization event (5-6, Lille)

London CLT

AGM extravaganza
London CLT welcomed over 70 members to its 11th AGM on 24 September. And what an extravaganza it was, the atmosphere was buzzing with lots of discussion, debate and homemade cakes! 

The CLT needed to hold a ballot this year to appoint new board members. That’s because there were more members standing for a place on the board than places - demonstrating the sense of ownership and belonging people feel for the CLT.

To ensure the CLT is truly governed and shaped by community members, London CLT’s board is made up of one-third residents, one-third stakeholders and one-third community. This ensures a balance of representation between those who own a CLT home, those involved in the wider neighbourhood and those who provide the expertise the CLT needs too.

Watch this great short film that one resident made sharing the story of London CLT in Lego!

Keeping up the pressure in Lambeth
On Saturday 7 September Lambeth Citizens organised a community action on Windrush Square in Brixton to talk with hundreds of residents and politicians about the need for 30 truly affordable CLT homes on Brixton hill to succeed. 

Local MP Helen Hayes also attended. She celebrated the involvement of young people in the project, particularly the Advocacy Academy, saying this about the gathering: 

“Young people [are] leading the way on practical solutions to the housing crisis with a community land trust. [I’m] proud to see their work coming to fruition.”

Mayor of Newham visits St Clements
Residents at St Clements and other London CLT members welcomed the Mayor of Newham, Rokhsana Fiaz and members of Newham Citizens to share stories about how the housing crisis has impacted their lives and hear more about community land trusts.

The visit was very successful with participants finding the visit very insightful. Here are some of the responses from participants:

“We need more CLT homes and developers must stop putting profit before people”

“My dream for Newham is that there are enough genuinely affordable homes that no-one needs to be rehoused outside of the borough”

 

Press coverage secured:

 

National CLT Network

Huge demand for new funding pot

Applications to the Network’s Cohesive Communities Fund were high - with over 30 groups making applications for 16 opportunities. The response demonstrates the desire among groups to engage with more people in their communities and awareness of the importance of a truly representative membership.

The successful CLTs will now embark on a journey to become champions of inclusivity, equality and diversity.

More information on the fund including the which CLTs have been awarded a share of the £329,000 pot can be found here.

 

Demystifying legal formats for CLTs
Incorporating as an official body is an important milestone for growing CLTs and means they can start getting their teeth into the nitty-gritty of building and renovating affordable housing.

 Partnering with Anthony Collins Solicitors, the National CLT Network held a webinar to go through the process of incorporating step by step and the pros and cons of the various legal forms available to community led housing groups.

You can watch the webinar here.

 

Spending Round response
In early September, the UK’s Chancellor of the Exchequer announced a one-year spending round which included the renewal of the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government's (MHCLG) budget for another year. 

It was hoped that there would be concrete news on the future of the Community Housing Fund - the Network and its members have been lobbying for news for some time now. But little detail was provided, this was the same for all housing-related funds. Just how this budget will be allocated across the different programmes (including the Community Housing Fund) is yet to be decided and will be up to the Department.

The National CLT Network has remained in contact with officials at MHCLG and putting plans together to ramp up their campaign. The extension of the Community Housing Fund is critical - earlier this year Government research revealed that interest in community led housing in England is growing rapidly, with plans for over 16.600 community led homes in the pipeline - this is triple estimates from 2016. It is thanks in part to the Fund that the movement is growing at such speed.

 

Press coverage secured:

  • The Times - Letter to the Editor

 

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