We have been busy internally at London CLT developing a new financial model to transition London CLT from being a single-site CLT to excitingly getting close to being a multi-site CLT! The Lewisham site is still expected to break ground this year and the Lambeth and Shadwell sites are progressing positively in their discussions with funders and paths towards submitting planning applications.
We are also in the process of finalising our first resale at St Clement’s - seeing affordable homes in perpetuity - in action!
Our campaigns for a site in Southall and Ealing have received a small grant to develop CLT homes in their neighbourhoods. Local people have been working hard in partnership with the authorities and the wider community to figure out what this should look like in their area.
As with the rest of the world, we are dealing with working remotely during the COVID crisis. One setback we have faced is the delaying of our crowdfunding campaign set to be launched in March this year.
London CLT met with Community Led Housing London, several other UK-based CLTs and our mortgage providers to discuss how we can align our mortgage processes with other CLTs and open up more lending for CLT homes. Groups from Cornwall, Wales and Bristol were among the CLTs who joined the discussion.
We have been in close touch with our members across the UK during the crisis. Some of them are shifting focus to caring for those closest to them, others are moving forward with their previous plans adjusting for social distancing and some are taking the moment to offer additional support to their communities in this difficult time. What has become clear is the vital importance of strong communities and resilience, both of which community led housing groups have grown in spades.
Groups are finding innovative ways to carry on with their projects through digital tools. The Network has been offering support for its members through a dedicated COVID-19 resource page, including videos produced in-house to address specific issues arising during this time, such as membership questions or hosting a virtual AGM.
Already in the organisation's tenth year of operation, NCLTN's co-chief executives Catherine Harrington and Tom Chance reflected on the movement and share our plans for the next three years as well as what we've learned from the Coronavirus crisis in a recent blog post.
Despite lockdown, FMDV is successfully carrying out its activities around CLT financing and long-term advocacy towards the establishment of a thriving European movement.
FMDV is engaged in the coordination of a pre-feasibility study on how to best channel funding for CLTs at the European level. The first activity of this work, a quantified survey of 20 pilots projects’ financial needs, is well underway. It will enable our consortium to better grasp the nature and size of the CLT and Collaborative Housing (CH) market in Europe.
This will be followed by an analysis of several facilities and financial instruments that could be relevant to support our organisations in the future. On June 2, we will devote a specific working session to discussing a detailed action plan on CLT/CH finance.
In terms of advocacy, FMDV is in the process of drafting a European CLT Guide. This flagship document will take stock of the European CLT movement’s development over the last few years and showcase the achievements of the SHICC project and the emergence of numerous innovative initiatives in North West Europe and beyond. This Guide is expected to be finished by September 2020.
On another note, the SHICC partners are also working on the organisation of a high-level European conference in December 2020. This event will be a unique opportunity to open a dialogue with EU institutions and prove the case for the CLT model at a transnational level.
CLTB took part into two webcasts on Friday 24 April:
- How can cities build alternative community-led housing model organised by UIA and URBACT
- Commons initiatives and the COVID crisis organised by Cooperative City
On April 23, the CLTB team exchanged with the FCRBE Interreg NWE project on how to include more reclaimed building elements in our developments. See their interesting outputs on how to reuse these materials.
The CLTB community is organising in these times of crisis. Helping out vulnerable members with their groceries, caring for each other, sharing experiences of the crisis and setting up a ‘pen pal’ system between the children of the community. Crises such as COVID show the importance of communities based on solidarity and mutual aid, such as ours!
City of Lille/OFSML
The current COVID outbreak is impacting OFSML’s first two projects/sites (delays in moving in for the 1st and in the ground lease signature for the 2nd).
The OFSML board met virtually on April 27 and approved 2 new projects/sites of 15 and 19 homes in a renewing urban area south of the city.
In total, the 5 OFSML projects will produce almost 100 homes over the two next years.
The City of Lille is making good progress in leading its study about the massification of the BRS on the territory.
Closing down our temporary use project during COVID-19
During these times of Coronavirus, it hasn't been easy to close down this project, especially because we can't organise a closing event with our neighbourhood, gardeners, youngsters, ... For example, all our gardeners have had to individually save the plants they still wanted, instead of doing this in a social environment. We have decided to postpone instead of cancelling the closing event. We are waiting for further information concerning the measures that will be taken by the Belgian government.
The substantive work continues