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Setting up Community Land Trust would help solve affordable housing crisis

May 24, 2006 12:14 PM

Discussions about setting up a Community Land Trust for South Lakeland will be on the table this Friday. Local MP Tim Farron and Housing Cabinet Member Cllr Brenda Gray will meet Graham Lattice from the Community Land Trusts national office.

"Community Land Trusts are an innovative idea, originating from the States, which can really help in the fight to provide more affordable housing," said Tim.

A Community Land Trust (CLT) is a democratically governed charity or non- profit company that holds land in trust for the local community. CLTs use land gifts or public grants to secure land. They then build new houses or renovate old ones. The buyer purchases the house and agrees a leasehold with the CLT for the underlying land. The house's resale price is then kept low, by the CLT keeping the freehold on the land. Whilst the homeowner can sell the house, the land cannot be sold, because the freehold is held in trust by the CLT. By taking land out of the market, which is a big proportion of the house price, the house price is cut-forever.

Tim continued: "Recent statistics show that as many as 45% of new families starting out cannot afford to buy a first home in rural areas like South Lakeland. We need to use innovative solutions to solve our affordable housing crisis - and I am very interested in Community Land Trusts as one possible solution."