Building own House
Tired of sub-standard homes and high rents, an increasing number of people are grouping together to build their own housing developments.
There has been an explosion in the number of Community Land Trusts (CLTs), with one set up every week in the last year. There are now 225 CLTs, a number which has grown six-fold in the last six years.
The schemes buy land, or have it donated to them, and then organise the funding and building of homes by and for members of the local community. The homes are then rented at a level linked to wages, or bought at an affordable price, and can only be sold on at a below-market value.
It was revealed this month that there has been a 23 per cent fall in the amount of affordable housing built in the last year.
Catherine Harrington, director of the National Community Land Trust Network, said: “These are people taking the housing crisis into their own hands."
One such community is Saffron Heath, in Leicester, where a group led by Neil Hodgkin conceived, funded, managed and delivered Europe’s largest eco-friendly social housing development, which has provided 68 homes on a previously derelict site.
These homes, which also come with allotments, are priced 20 per cent below market rent and bills cost 80 per cent of traditional homes due to the eco-friendly Passivhaus design.
Mr Hodgkin, who had never delivered a housing project before, said: “This project shows that communities can plan, deliver and manage their own housing and address specific wider social needs.”
There are a total of 3, 000 CLT homes in the pipeline to be built by 2020, helped by £60 million from the Government. The funding comes from money raised by the three per cent hike to stamp duty on second homes and buy-to-let properties.
In many of the areas where CLTs have been set up, the property market has been affected by second homes, particularly in rural areas such as Cornwall. More CLT homes will potentially be available through the affordable housing plan announced in the Autumn Statement.