ABE Community Land Trust News - Affordable Housing for Local People
Membership Scheme Launched
The CLT was formally registered with the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) on 8th February so we have been able to launch our membership scheme – see here for the application form with more details. Membership costs as little as £1, but donations of more than this are welcomed as the CLT will need funds to cover running costs (including professional fees) as we work with partners to bring our first affordable housing scheme for local people to fruition.
Public Meeting on 11th February 2019
The public meeting at Eastergate Village Hall was held to explain how the Community Land Trust (CLT) will benefit the local community in providing affordable homes for local people i.e. people living or working in the villages, bring residents up to date with progress and explain how people can keep in touch through the new CLT membership scheme.
A warm welcome was extended to Cllr Trevor Bence, Arun District Council Portfolio Holder for Housing, whocame to express the Council’s support for ABE CLT andthe work CLTs are doing to meet local housing needs, which helps Arun manage a huge demand for affordable housing. The support provided by the Sussex Community Housing Hub at Action in rural Sussex is part funded by Arun. He offered Arun DC as a partner to ABE CLT to deliver small schemes and explained that the Council has earmarked funding which is available for this purpose. Cllr John Charles, Arun District Council Portfolio Holder for Planning, and Housing Enabling Manager Arjan De Jong also attended and answered questions.
Chairman Louise Beaton said “It’s almost a year since the idea of launching a CLT for the villages was presented at a public meeting convened by Aldingbourne Parish Council. We are very fortunate to have a team of committed volunteers on our Steering Group and have received excellent support from Graham Maunders atThe Sussex Community Housing Hub at Action in rural Sussex and from Arun District Council.”
Appointment of Board members
The Board members were formally appointed and the Steering Group disbanded on 18th March. Current members are:
Louise BeatonChair (Aldingbourne)
Emma Pinder Vice Chair (Aldingbourne)
Sue LivettTreasurer (Aldingbourne Trust)
Kevin DeanBoard Secretary (Aldingbourne)
Mike Link (Aldingbourne)
Michael Warden(Aldingbourne Parish Council)
Our first AGM will be held in six months time.
A representative from Eastergate and/or Barnham is still sought. Contact the CLT via firstname.lastname@example.org or Chairman Louise Beaton (01243 543475) if you are interested in joining the Board, attending a meeting to meet Board members or would like further information.
Housing Needs Survey
In May a Housing Need Survey will be circulated to householders in Aldingbourne, Barnham and Eastergate. This differs from Arun’s Housing Waiting Listbecause it will enable people who are not on the waiting list (eg because they are not yet in need but expect to be) to specify what type of housing they anticipate needing. The survey is kindly funded by Arun District Council. Please do return it as this information will provide the evidence we need to ensure the affordable homes we have available match your needs.
Is CLT housing subject to the Right to Buy?
A: No. The “asset lock” in the legal constitution of a CLT protects the assets for community benefit. Not being a local authority or conventional housing association a CLT is not affected by legislation applicable to public housing stock.
Can a small CLT really make an impact on local housing need?
A: While the CLT will start small we hope to achieve a snowball effect, as those elsewhere in the country have done.
When are you likely to have your first affordable homes for local people ready?
A: If all goes smoothly, the first homes could be available towards the end of 2020.
Where will they be?
A: We have begun to made contact with developers of housing sites coming forward via the Aldingbourne Neighbourhood Plan and Arun Local Plan with a view to having first refusal on the affordable homes they are obliged to provide if they receive planning consent.
Will rents be affordable and will there be Shared Ownership homes?
A: We are talking with potential developers, Arun District Council, Housing Associations and Funders with whom we hope to partner to finance, deliver and manage our first homes. In our discussions have made clear that we are interested in delivering homes for rent which aregenuinely affordable and in offering Shared Ownership homes, ie part owner-occupied and part rented.
The Steering Group are meeting monthly and making good progress. So far, they have:-
• Successfully applied to the National CLT Network for Set Up funding of £4000. This is to cover legal incorporation, community engagement, feasibility study of the potential site and business plan development.
• Set up a bank account for the CLT.
• Agreed on the legal form being a Community Benefits Society and agreed, following the last meeting, to proceed with the legal incorporation using the National CLT Network’s Non-Charitable model rules. The non-charitable status gives us a little more flexibility and means that we do not have to report to the Charities Commission. Using the model rules means that we do not need any legal assistance at this stage.
• Published an article updating residents about the CLT and enclosing an Expression of Interest form. We have received a small number of responses so far.
• At the last meeting we agreed to appoint AiRS to undertake a Housing Needs Survey for Aldingbourne, Eastergate and Barnham parishes for a fee of £7621.34, provided that funding can be obtained from ADC (I think) to cover this. AiRS are currently seeking the funding on our behalf. This will include a postal 8-page survey to every household in the 3 parishes and is scheduled to happen early 2019.
• We have booked the evening of 11th February at Eastergate Parish Hall for our next public meeting, so that we can inform residents of our progress and seek further recruits to join the Steering Group, particularly any from Barnham and Eastergate parishes.
• We are currently investigating options for appointing someone to assist with community engagement, particularly through social media. In the meantime, there is a link to information about the CLT on the Aldingbourne Parish website.
• We have started and scheduled a series of meetings (over the next few months) with a number of Housing Associations who may be interested in partnering with us on our first project.
• We are currently monitoring two potential planning applications where the CLT could possibly work in partnership with a Housing Association to take some of the affordable dwellings provided through S106 – Wings Nurseries (refused but we are waiting to see if they appeal) and Land East of Westergate Street (undecided and extension of time until Jan 2019). We have made contact with both agents and are waiting for further news from them with a view to meeting when and if things progress.
Our current focus is to become legally incorporated and complete our series of meetings with Housing Associations. Shortly, we will start an assessment of the HEELA sites to see if this brings forwards any opportunities.
The Aldingbourne, Barnham and Eastergate (ABE) CLT was launched at a public meeting in February 2018, when the presentation shown on this site was given by Graham Maunders from the Housing Hub at Action in rural Sussex (AirS). A Steering Group was formed and has begun the process of working up its first scheme to deliver affordable housing for rent or shared ownership (part buy, part rented) in the three parishes.
In February 2019 the CLT plans to launch its membership scheme, which will be open to anyone living or working in the 3 parishes and other supporters interested in obtaining or providing affordable housing here.
The Steering Group would welcome a couple of new members, preferably including someone from the Eastergate or Barnham area. No special experience is necessary as the CLT has advisory support from the AirS Housing Hub. Aldingbourne Parish Council is providing administrative support and has appointed a representative. Barnham and Eastergate Parish Councils have been invited to appoint a representative.
To keep in touch with progress or join the CLT steering group contact the Aldingbourne Parish Clerk, Joanne Brown, at Aldingbourneparishcouncil.gmail.com
The ABE CLT was awarded start up funding by Aldingbourne Parish Council and the National CLT Network has just offered a further grant which will cover the costs of becoming established as a legal entity, marketing and community engagement, a Feasibility Study and Business Plan development, all of which are needed as we work towards delivering our first houses.
The CLT plans to work in partnership with Arun District Council and Housing Associations to deliver and manage affordable housing in the parishes and has met with Arun District Council’s Housing Enablement Manager to discuss the mechanisms for delivery and potential sites. The Steering Group will be meeting Housing Association representatives over the coming months.