Category Archives: Press release

Brighton families start work on self-build project costing £225,000 a house

15 November 2018

Photo opportunity: Bunker Housing Co-operative celebration event
Saturday 8 December 2018, 2.00-5.00pm. The Edge Community Centre, 83 Pankhurst Avenue, Brighton, BN2 9AE. Arrive by 2.15pm for the opportunity to see the Bunker site
on Plumpton Road, a five-minute walk away.
There will be food and drinks.

Bunker Housing Co-op has begun self-building its first affordable and environmentally friendly homes for low income families on its first site in the Queen’s Park area of Brighton. The rent will be just £1,000 a month, per three bedroomed family home.

Bunker encourages others to sign up to the Brighton & Hove City Council (BHCC) Self-build and Custom Housebuilding Register to show the demand for this kind of project in the city.

With the help of architects, and other construction professionals, Bunker have started building their homes using a modular system and a CLT (Cross Laminated Timber) super structure. The project is set to be a great example of what is possible with self-build community-led housing.

Martyn Holmes and his partner Agata Bogacka, who live in Brighton with their two children, co-founded Bunker with another family in 2014. They had spent five years trying to find ways to secure affordable housing in the city. The idea developed as they chatted with their neighbours over the garden fence. Living in damp, cramped and overpriced private rented accommodation, both families, despite working full time, were struggling and fed up with their housing situation.

Bunker have leased their first site, on Plumpton Road, from Brighton & Hove City Council (BHCC). They have a 99-year lease and are making use of a difficult site that a commercial developer wouldn’t be attracted to. They are working with architects from AURAA Studio in London, who have experience in smaller sights, specialise in bespoke sustainable architectural design and most importantly understand and enjoy the challenge of working on community-led developments.

Brighton & Hove Community Land Trust (BHCLT) is encouraging people who support projects like Bunker to join the local Self-build and Custom Housebuilding Register with Brighton & Hove City Council (BHCC). Registering is a good way of improving the chances for Brighton residents to self/custom build their own homes.

People in England have the Right to Build, as set out by legislation announced in 2015 and updated in 2016. The Right to Build requires all councils to maintain a register of individual and groups of individuals who want to build their own home. It places a duty on them to grant sufficient development permissions for serviced building plots to meet demand on a rolling three-year basis.

BHCLT is a central resource for community-led housing in Brighton & Hove, including housing co-operatives, cohousing and self-build projects, developed through local people working together. Our work to support community-led housing is being supported by Brighton & Hove City Council (BHCC) through the Community Housing Fund.

Bunker, whose members are low income, mostly self-employed people in Brighton & Hove, now have eight adult members, along with several children. They hope to acquire a second site soon, in order to expand their project and house more of their members, all of whom are currently living in private rented accommodation.

Martyn Holmes, Bunker co-founder and soon to be Plumpton Road resident said, “Bunker has given us a way out of the private rented sector which is increasingly unaffordable for so many people in Brighton. We believe that building our own community-led and owned housing is the best housing solution for our families and will allow us to stay in the city that we have helped to build. It’s been a tough journey in many ways, but it’s definitely been worthwhile, we are really excited to move into our new homes later this year and get cracking on the second site.”

Andrea Jones, Programme Manager for the Brighton & Hove Community-Led Housing Programme said, “Bunker is such an inspiring project and shows what people can do when they work together.

“You don’t need to have construction experience to do something like this; there are building projects out there led by all sorts of people, including groups of women, and people with learning disabilities.  There is loads of support available through BHCLT and nationally. People have got to start signing up for the self-build register if they want to see things change. It shows the demand that is out there for self-build plots of land.”

Registration for the Brighton & Hove City Council’s (BHCC) Self-build and Custom Housebuilding Register can be done via their website at: https://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/content/housing/general-housing/self-build-and-custom-housebuilding-register

More information about self-build community led housing and how to join the register can be found at: http://bit.ly/SelfBuildBH

For more information and to arrange local interviews with self-builders, or members of Bunker Housing Co-operative, contact Amy Hall, BHCLT Communications Officer on comms@bhclt.org.uk

 Notes for editors

  1. Brighton & Hove Community Land Trust (BHCLT) is a non-profit community-led organisation working to put housing development back in the hands of people who need it. It is one of over 280 Community Land Trusts (CLTs) in England and Wales. Find out more at: https://bhclt.org.uk/
  2. Announced in 2016, a national Community Housing Fund of £60 million was shared between almost 150 councils to help tackle the problem of high levels of second home ownership in their communities. Brighton & Hove City Council (BHCC) was allocated £464,500 and the fund was in turn, awarded to BHCLT in October 2017, which is acting as the lead partner in this programme of work, alongside Mutual Aid In Sussex (MAIS) to deliver the Community-Led Housing Programme.
  3. The ‘Right to Build’ places two legal obligations on Local Authorities in England:
    1. Under the Self-build and Custom Housebuilding Act 2015 all Local Authorities in England must keep a register of people and groups of people who are seeking to purchase serviced plots of land in the authority’s area and to have regard to that register when carrying out their functions. Registers were required from 1st April 2016.
    2. The Housing and Planning Act 2016 requires all Local Authorities in England to grant sufficient ‘development permissions’ to meet the demand for Custom and Self-build housing in their area, as established by their register, on a rolling basis. Permissions equivalent to the number of people on the register from 1 April 2016 to 31 October 2016 should be granted by 31 October 2019. Permissions equivalent to the number of people on the register from 31 October 2016 to 31 October 2017 should be granted by 31 October 2020 and so on.
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Celebrating Brighton & Hove’s movement for community-led housing

13 September 2018

Celebrating Brighton & Hove’s movement for community-led housing

Brighton & Hove Community Land Trust (BHCLT) held its first Annual General Meeting at One Church, Brighton on Wednesday 12 September. The event was also a chance to celebrate the work of the housing groups BHCLT has been working with over the past 10 months.

Community-led housing allows local people to take control of their housing and create alternatives to the limited choices offered by the current housing market. Approaches include self-build, cohousing and housing co-operatives, all developed and run by local people working together.

BHCLT has been supporting local people to come together and organise, or build, their own affordable homes as part of its Community-Led Housing Programme, supported by Brighton & Hove City Council (BHCC), through the national Community Housing Fund.

BHCLT is working with 17 groups including, Bunker Housing Co-op: A self-build group due to start building their first two homes in the next month; SEASALT: set to be the first student housing co-operative in the South East; a cohousing project for women over 50 years old and Lilliput Housing Co-operative who are planning a neighbourhood of nine small, low cost homes for those most in need of secure, genuinely affordable housing in Brighton & Hove.

Six BHCLT Directors were also elected at the meeting. Re-elected were the four existing Directors:

Jonny Anstead has worked in the built environment sector for 15 years. He has specific experience in delivering community-led housing through his company TOWN’s role as development partner to K1 Cohousing, delivering a 42-home cohousing scheme in Cambridge, which is due for completion in October 2018.

Peter Clarke, a founder Director of BHCLT who has been working as the Trust’s Treasurer. He is also a founder member of South Downs Eco Housing Co-operative with experience in building and architecture, community development and administration of grant-funded and community-led programmes.

Rita Garner who has been a Director of BHCLT for the past year and has extensive experience in governance, people management, and financial management of health and social care services. She works in leadership development with individuals and small groups using coaching and facilitation skills.

Helen Russell, a founder Director of BHCLT who has been involved in housing since the 1970s, from squatting in Brixton to representing Community Works on the Strategic Housing Partnership, pioneering the Confederation of Cooperative Housing (CCH) in 1991, and being Chair of her home co-op during the development of its new build flats.

There were also two new Directors elected:

Sudhin Chatterji who has over 20 years of experience in the construction and development industry as a lawyer acting for major banks, pension funds and institutions on a variety of development and regeneration projects throughout the UK.

Martyn Holmes: A Brighton resident and founding member of Bunker Housing Co-op. Martyn is also an academic, Community-Led Housing (CLH) developer/enabler and housing activist.

Brighton & Hove Community Land Trust is a growing membership organisation of over 200 local people working to keep housing and land in the city affordable for future generations. It is just £1 to join. Find out more at bhclt.org.uk

For more information contact us on admin@bhclt.org.uk 

 Notes for editors

  1. Brighton & Hove Community Land Trust (BHCLT) is a non-profit community-led organisation working to put housing development back in the hands of people who need it. It is one of over 225 Community Land Trusts (CLTs) in England and Wales. Find out more at: https://bhclt.org.uk/
  2. Community Land Trusts (CLTs) act as long-term stewards of housing, ensuring that it remains genuinely affordable, based on what local people actually earn, not just for now but for every future occupier. There are now almost 290 CLTs in England and Wales, and the sector has grown six-fold in the last six years. CLTs have developed over 820 homes across the country, with more than 5,000 in the pipeline up to 2021. More information can be found at: www.communitylandtrusts.org.uk
    3. Announced in 2016, a national Community Housing Fund of £60 million was shared between almost 150 councils to help tackle the problem of high levels of second home ownership in their communities. Brighton & Hove City Council (BHCC) was allocated £464,500 and the fund was in turn, awarded to BHCLT in October 2017, which is acting as the lead partner in this programme of work, alongside Co-operative Housing in Brighton & Hove (CHIBAH) and Mutual Aid in Sussex (MAIS).
  3. In July 2018 the national government announced the multimillion pound Community Housing Fund which will provide local people with the financial backing to make their community-led housing projects a reality. The Fund will be managed by Homes England and will come in two phases: phase one will help groups to cover costs during the planning stages and the second phase will be capital grants to pay for the construction costs for new homes. BHCLT’s Community-Led Housing Programme is supporting local people to apply for this Fund and make their ideas a reality. The full prospectus for the latest round of the Community Housing Fund can be found here: www.gov.uk/government/publications/community-housing-fund-prospectus
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Celebrating community-led housing in our city

29 August 2018

Seventeen groups of local people are working with Brighton & Hove Community Land Trust (BHCLT) on affordable, secure housing for the city

They will be celebrated at BHCLT’s Annual General Meeting

WEDNESDAY 12 SEPTEMBER 2018, 6.00-9.00PM (REGISTRATION FROM 5.30PM)

ONE CHURCH, GLOUCESTER PLACE, BRIGHTON, BN1 4AA

The movement for more affordable and community-led housing in Brighton & Hove has been building over the past year. Brighton & Hove Community Land Trust (BHCLT) is celebrating this work at its Annual General Meeting and celebration event on Wednesday 12 September.

Community-led housing allows local people to take control of their housing and create alternatives to the limited choices offered by the current housing market. Approaches include self-build, cohousing and housing co-operatives, all developed and run by local people working together.

BHCLT has been supporting groups of local people to come together and organise, or build, their own affordable homes as part of its Community-Led Housing Programme, supported by Brighton & Hove City Council (BHCC), through a previous round of the Community Housing Fund. BHCLT has worked with Co-operative Housing in Brighton & Hove (CHIBAH) and Mutual Aid in Sussex (MAIS) to deliver the Programme.

Supported groups include:

  • Bunker Housing Co-op: A self-build group due to start building their first two homes this month. Each three-bedroom house is approximately 100 sq meters and due to cost around £175,000 each to build. They will then be rented to members of the co-operative for £800 a month per home.
  • Sussex Cohousing is another group working with BHCLT and aiming to develop a cohousing project in or near Brighton. Their vision is a community of 15-35 households (each with their own front door), collaboratively managed by the residents and working on a mixed tenure model, including renting and ownership. They are currently exploring different sites in the local area, on which they will be able to build.
  • Lilliput housing co-operative are planning a neighbourhood of nine small, low cost homes for those most in need of secure, genuinely affordable housing in Brighton & Hove. It would run as a co-operative with its members as both tenant and landlord. They have been making great progress on the project over the past few months and are in the process of obtaining land and finances.

Other projects include a student housing co-operative called SEASALT, a cohousing project for women over 50 years old, a project incorporating adults with learning disabilities and a group setting up a housing project for people with mental health issues.

Rita Garner, BHCLT Director said: “This is our first AGM and we want to expand our membership so we can make a tangible addition to affordable housing in Brighton & Hove.  We are looking for Directors and members who will help make this a reality.”

It is an exciting time for community-led housing in Brighton & Hove. In July 2018 the national government announced the multimillion pound Community Housing Fund which will provide local people with the financial backing to make their community-led housing projects a reality. The Fund will be managed by Homes England and will come in two phases: phase one will help groups to cover costs during the planning stages and the second phase will be capital grants to pay for the construction costs for new homes. BHCLT’s Community-Led Housing Programme is supporting local people to apply for this Fund and make their ideas a reality.

Community-led housing is good for Brighton & Hove because:

  • It provides additional affordable and stable housing to those in need.
  • It creates and demonstrates alternative ways of living which have a positive impact on wellbeing.
  • It helps local people develop new skills as they make their projects a reality.
  • It encourages collaboration and co-operative between local people and involves them in decisions about new housing.
  • People have more say in how their homes are developed and managed.
  • It creates an opportunity to make use of empty buildings and vacant land, revitalising communities.

The celebration event on Wednesday 12 September is open to all but only BHCLT members will be able to vote in the AGM section. Membership is just £1 and can be done here at the BHCLT website: https://bhclt.org.uk/membership/

After the AGM there will be a shared meal and celebration of the success of new community-led housing groups in the city. We will also be looking forward at what is next for BHCLT and our Community-Led Housing Programme.

People are asked to sign up via Eventbrite if they would like to attend: https://bhclt-agm-celebration-2018-tickets.eventbrite.co.uk

For more information, including to hear more about existing community-led housing projects in Brighton & Hove contact Amy Hall, Communications Officer with BHCLT on comms[at]bhclt.org.uk

Notes for editors

  1. Brighton & Hove Community Land Trust (BHCLT) is a non-profit community-led organisation working to put housing development back in the hands of people who need it. It is one of over 225 Community Land Trusts (CLTs) in England and Wales. Find out more at: https://bhclt.org.uk/
  2. Community Land Trusts (CLTs) act as long-term stewards of housing, ensuring that it remains genuinely affordable, based on what local people actually earn, not just for now but for every future occupier. There are now almost 290 CLTs in England and Wales, and the sector has grown six-fold in the last six years. CLTs have developed over 820 homes across the country, with more than 5,000 in the pipeline up to 2021. More information can be found at: www.communitylandtrusts.org.uk
    3. Announced in 2016, a national Community Housing Fund of £60 million was shared between almost 150 councils to help tackle the problem of high levels of second home ownership in their communities. Brighton & Hove City Council (BHCC) was allocated £464,500 and the fund was in turn, awarded to BHCLT in October 2017, which is acting as the lead partner in this programme of work, alongside Co-operative Housing in Brighton & Hove (CHIBAH) and Mutual Aid in Sussex (MAIS).
  3. The full prospectus for the latest round of the Community Housing Fund can be found here: www.gov.uk/government/publications/community-housing-fund-prospectus

 

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Golden opportunity for the development of affordable housing as Government opens multimillion fund

Wednesday 4 July 2018

“Now is the time for communities wanting to work together to build more permanently affordable housing in their local area,” says Brighton & Hove Community-Land Trust (BHCLT) in response to new multimillion Government fund.

The Community Housing Fund will provide local people with the financial backing to make their community-led housing projects a reality. Community-led housing approaches include Community Land Trusts (CLTs), self-build, cohousing and housing co-ops, all developed and run by local people working together. These projects bring more affordable housing to the city.

Community-led housing is not new to Brighton & Hove, which is home to around 20 housing co-operatives. Older examples include self-build projects Diggers (1998) and Hedgehog (2000), as well as Two Piers Housing Co-operative (1978), a registered provider which houses around 70 people across Brighton & Hove.

Through the previous round of the Community Housing Fund, supported by Brighton & Hove City Council (BHCC), BHCLT has supported 17 new community-led housing groups over the past eight months. These include:

  • Bunker Housing Co-op: A self-build group due to start building their first two homes this month. Each three-bedroom house is approximately 100 sq meters and due to cost around £175,000 each to build. They will then be rented to members of the co-operative for £800 a month per home.

Bunker is a fully mutual housing co-operative and has been working on developing a model that can be rolled out over several “infill” sites across the city. They are building using an off site modular system of CLT (Cross Laminated Timber) panels to form the super insulated structure and the project is set to be a great example of what affordable, self-build community-led housing can be.

Bunker was started by two families, who met through their children. Like many of Brighton’s residents with no access to either home ownership nor social housing, their choices were limited to private renting and they lived in damp, insecure and unaffordable accommodation while they faced the growing possibility of being priced out of the city altogether.

Together they created Bunker with the aim of enabling low-income, self-employed people like themselves to take back control of their housing situation and to build their own beautifully designed, secure and permanently affordable housing.

  • Sussex Cohousing is another group working with BHCLT and aiming to develop a cohousing project in or near Brighton. Their vision is a community of 15-35 households (each with their own front door), collaboratively managed by the residents and working on a mixed tenure model, including renting and ownership. They are currently exploring different sites in the local area, on which they will be able to build.
  • Lilliput housing co-operative are planning a neighbourhood of nine small, low cost homes for those most in need of secure, genuinely affordable housing in Brighton & Hove. It would run as a co-operative with its members as both tenant and landlord. They have been making great progress on the project over the past few months and are in the process of obtaining land and finances.

Other projects include a student housing co-operative called SEASALT, a cohousing project for women over 50 years old, a project incorporating adults with learning disabilities and a group setting up a housing project for people with mental health issues.

BHCLT is hoping that this recent round of the Community Housing Fund can help make more projects like these a reality in Brighton & Hove. The Fund will be managed by Homes England and will come in two phases: phase one will help groups to cover costs during the planning stages and capital will be available for more established projects to pay for infrastructure, such as new roads; and the second phase will be capital grants to pay for the construction costs for new homes. More information on the fund can be found here: www.gov.uk/government/collections/community-housing-fund

Peter Clarke, BHCLT Director said: “We’ve been waiting for this news for a while, so we’re excited to see the Government making a commitment to support people wanting to lead their own affordable housing projects.

“We are hoping this Fund will be a boost to community-led housing in Brighton & Hove, a city where we desperately need more affordable housing.”

Tom Chance, Director at the National CLT Network said: “This is the biggest investment the community led housing sector has seen in the last 30 years. I’m delighted that Government has recognised the role communities can play in delivering much-needed affordable housing. When it comes to our vision of community led housing becoming a mainstream housing option, this is a significant boost.”

People who would like support to start their own community-led housing project should contact Brighton & Hove Community Land Trust (BHCLT) on admin[at]bhclt.org.uk or find out more at: https://bhclt.org.uk/

End –

For more information, including to arrange an interview with someone from BHCLT or a local community-led housing group, contact Amy Hall, Communications Officer with BHCLT on comms[at]bhclt.org.uk

Notes to editors:

  1. Brighton & Hove Community Land Trust (BHCLT) is a non-profit community-led organisation working to put housing development back in the hands of people who need it. Find out more at: https://bhclt.org.uk/
  2. The full prospectus for the Community Housing Fund can be found here: gov.uk/government/publications/community-housing-fund-prospectus
  3. Community-led housing is a broad movement where people are involved in meeting their own housing wants and needs. Approaches include Community Land Trusts (CLTs), self-build, cohousing, and co-operative housing.
  4. BHCLT has been leading the Brighton & Hove Community-Led Housing Programme in partnership with Co-operative Housing in Brighton & Hove (CHIBAH) and Mutual Aid in Sussex (MAIS).
  5. The National CLT Network is the Charity for Community Land Trusts (CLTs) in England and Wales and supports and promotes the work of CLTs, representing 240 CLTs in England and Wales. CLTs are local organisations set up and run by ordinary people to develop and manage homes that are genuinely affordable for now and in perpetuity. CLTs have developed over 820 homes, with more than 5,000 in the pipeline up to 2021. More information can be found at: communitylandtrusts.org.uk
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Brighton & Hove asserts its right to build affordable housing

7th May 2018

Community Land Trust promotes Self-build and Custom Housebuilding register as part of National Custom and Self Build Week

The National Custom and Self Build Week 2018 runs from 7-13 May, with a series of events celebrating and promoting Custom and Self-Build homes. Brighton & Hove Community Land Trust is taking part by encouraging local people to join the local Self-build and Custom Housebuilding Register with Brighton & Hove City Council’s (BHCC). Registering is a good way of improving the chances for Brighton residents to self/custom build their own homes. Currently there are less than 100 people on the self-build register in all of Brighton & Hove – most people who want to self-build do not know the register currently exists.

People in England have the Right to Build, as set out by legislation announced in 2015 and updated in 2016. The Right to Build requires all councils to maintain a register of individual and groups of individuals who want to build their own home. It places a duty on them to grant sufficient development permissions for serviced building plots to meet demand on a rolling three-year basis. By the end of the first full year base period National Custom and Self-build Association (NaCSBA)’s research revealed that 33,000 individuals had signed up to express their interest in buying a plot.

Michael Holmes, NaCSBA’s Chair, said: “NaCSBA believes that people commissioning or building their own home will play an increasingly important role in delivering the Government’s objective to build 300,000 new homes per year.

“Custom, Self Build and community-led housing will transform how housing is delivered in the UK.”

BHCLT is a central resource for community-led housing in Brighton & Hove, including housing co-operatives, cohousing and self-build projects, developed through local people working together. Our work to support community-led housing is being supported by Brighton & Hove City Council (BHCC) through the Community Housing Fund.

Andrea Jones, Programme Manager for the Brighton & Hove Community-Led Housing Programme said, “Self-build can be a great opportunity for local groups to develop affordable and stable housing for themselves. People shouldn’t be put off if they don’t have buildings skills or are not architects. There are many people across the country who have self-built their own homes and we have our own success story here in Brighton with the Bunker Self-Build Co-op who are about to go on site.

“Anyone who is interested in self-build should register BHCC’s self-build register. It’s really easy and it doesn’t mean you have to follow through and build but we need to show that the demand is out there.”

Registration for the Brighton & Hove City Council’s (BHCC) Self-build and Custom Housebuilding Register can be done via their website at: https://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/content/housing/general-housing/self-build-and-custom-housebuilding-register

More information about self-build community led housing and how to join the register can be found at: http://bit.ly/SelfBuildBH

For more information and to arrange local interviews with self-builders contact Amy Hall and Ed Jones, BHCLT Communications Officers on comms@bhclt.org.uk

For information on the National Self Build Week and the National Custom and Self-build Association contact Duncan Hayes on 0771 400 4257 and media@nacsba.org.uk

Notes for editors

  1. Brighton & Hove Community Land Trust (BHCLT) is a non-profit community-led organisation working to put housing development back in the hands of people who need it. It is one of over 280 Community Land Trusts (CLTs) in England and Wales. Find out more at: https://bhclt.org.uk/
  2. A national Community Housing Fund of £60 million has been shared between almost 150 councils to help tackle the problem of high levels of second home ownership in their communities. Brighton & Hove City Council (BHCC) was allocated £464,500 and the fund was in turn, awarded to BHCLT, which is acting as the lead partner in this programme of work, alongside Mutual Aid In Sussex (MAIS) to deliver the Community-Led Housing Programme.
  3. The National Custom and Self-build Association (NaCSBA) (www.nacsba.org.uk) issued a Freedom of Information request to all English Local Authorities on 1 November 2017 requesting the numbers of people and groups of people on their registers. It found that 33,000 had now signed up to the registers. This was based on the data supplied by more than three quarters of the authorities who responded. The remaining results were extrapolated based on the average of the responses received.
  4. The ‘Right to Build’ places two legal obligations on Local Authorities in England:
  • Under the Self-build and Custom Housebuilding Act 2015 all Local Authorities in England must keep a register of people and groups of people who are seeking to purchase serviced plots of land in the authority’s area and to have regard to that register when carrying out their functions. Registers were required from 1st April 2016.
  • The Housing and Planning Act 2016 requires all Local Authorities in England to grant sufficient ‘development permissions’ to meet the demand for Custom and Self-build housing in their area, as established by their register, on a rolling basis. Permissions equivalent to the number of people on the register from 1 April 2016 to 31 October 2016 should be granted by 31 October 2019. Permissions equivalent to the number of people on the register from 31 October 2016 to 31 October 2017 should be granted by 31 October 2020 and so on.

5. There are a number of national Custom and Self Build Week Activities taking place. Information can be found here: www.selfbuildportal.org.uk

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Join the movement for community-led land and housing

3 May 2018

Brighton & Hove Community Land Trust (BHCLT) is holding its first General Meeting on Tuesday 8 May at the One Church, Gloucester Place, Brighton, BN1 4AA. 5.30pm – 8.30pm.

The meeting will be a chance to find out more about BHCLT, contribute to our vision and values and socialise with others interested in developing land and housing for future generations. There will also be a chance to stand as a Director of the Land Trust.

There will be a shared meal during the event so people are encouraged to bring food to share.

BHCLT was founded in 2017 and wants to put housing development back in the hands of people who need it. Our vision is of a city better designed to meet local housing and community needs by engaging the communities themselves in their development.

Brighton & Hove Community Land Trust aims to:

  • Develop affordable housing and other community assets.
  • Support other community-led groups developing such assets.
  • Acquire or lease land protected for community benefit.

BHCLT is a central resource for community-led housing in Brighton & Hove, including housing co-operatives, cohousing and self-build projects, developed through local people working together. These projects bring more affordable housing to the city. Our work to support community-led housing is being supported by Brighton & Hove City Council (BHCC) through the Community Housing Fund.

BHCLT Community-led Housing Programme includes:

  • Housing Ourselves: Financial support through grants to housing groups.
  • Discovering suitable land and properties and helping groups acquire them for housing projects.
  • Connecting local people who want to start their own housing projects and providing them with expertise and support.
  • Raising awareness and building knowledge about housing with local people, the council and others who work in housing.

Rita Garner, BHCLT Director said: “There is currently an exciting buzz about community-led land and housing development in Brighton & Hove.

“We recognise that a wide and diverse set of skills and experiences is vital to developing the Trust. We would welcome people from all walks of life to join our friendly team of Directors and help make some of the ideas a reality..”

BHCLT is looking for Directors who can bring:

  • Commitment to participatory, collaborative and co-operative ethics and practices.
  • Willingness to develop a strategic overview for relations with the city’s neighbourhoods and communities.
  • A contribution of two or more years of ‘office’ to the Trust.
  • Time for 12 Board meetings a year; time to participate in subgroup meetings as they arise; some time outside of meetings to be part of a rolling programme of events.

Directors must be a member of the BHCLT. Information on membership can be found here: https://bhclt.org.uk/membership/

More information on the meeting and becoming a director can be found here: https://bhclt.org.uk/brighton-hove-community-land-trust-general-meeting-and-social-8th-may/

There is limited space for the meeting, so booking is essential, via Eventbrite.

We apologise that the venue is not easily accessible for wheelchair users or those with mobility difficulties. However, we will make every effort to help people access the event if they would like to join us. Contact admin@bhclt.org.uk to ask any questions.

For more information contact info@bhclt.org.uk

Notes for editors

  1. Brighton & Hove Community Land Trust (BHCLT) is a non-profit community-led organisation working to put housing development back in the hands of people who need it. It is one of over 280 Community Land Trusts (CLTs) in England and Wales. Find out more at: https://bhclt.org.uk/
  2. Community Land Trusts have developed over 800 permanently affordable homes and are working to develop an additional 5800 homes in the next few years. Find out more at the National CLT Network website: http://www.communitylandtrusts.org.uk/
  3. A national Community Housing Fund of £60 million has been shared between almost 150 councils to help tackle the problem of high levels of second home ownership in their communities. Brighton & Hove City Council (BHCC) was allocated £464,500 and the fund was in turn, awarded to BHCLT, which is acting as the lead partner in this programme of work, alongside Mutual Aid In Sussex (MAIS) to deliver the Community-Led Housing Programme.
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Brighton & Hove shows it’s ready for more community-led housing

Brighton’s Brighthelm Centre was filled with around 200 people on Wednesday 21 February for the launch of the Brighton & Hove Community-Led Housing Programme.

With support from Brighton & Hove City Council (BHCC), Brighton & Hove Community Land Trust (BHCLT) is supporting local people who want to start their own community-led housing projects, including co-operatives, cohousing and self-build.

Community-led housing allows local people to take control of their housing and create alternatives to the limited choices offered by the current housing market. The new Brighton & Hove Community-Led Housing Programme supports groups of people to come together and organise, or build, their own affordable homes. Applications are open for financial support and free advice to help make people’s ideas a reality.

BHCLT Community-led Housing Programme includes:

  • Housing Ourselves: Financial support through loans or grants to housing groups.
  • Discovering suitable land and properties and helping groups acquire them for housing projects.
  • Connecting local people who want to start their own housing projects and providing them with expertise and support.
  • Raising awareness and building knowledge about housing with local people, the council and others who work in housing.

The event included the opportunity for people involved in community-led housing groups to share their experiences and learn from each other.

Speaking at the event, Councillor Anne Meadows, Chair of the Housing & New Homes Committee and a Labour & Co-operative representative for Moulsecoomb and Bevendean, paid tribute to city’s history of community-led housing: ‘In some respects I feel it’s national thinking that has caught up with Brighton & Hove,’ she said. ‘We have had an innovative and active community-led housing sector for many, many years and the provision of this funding through the DCLG has brought about the creation of this programme, through which we hope that more of the aspirations of this sector can be realised and more housing provided.’

Also speaking at the event was Stephen Hill, Director at C2O futureplanners and a key player in community-led housing nationally. ‘Communities are spending huge amounts of their time trying to put together housing projects that nobody else will,’ he said. ‘The fact that people like you are here today is some kind of witness to the fact that policy and the market has failed so many people.’

The audience also hear directly from someone involved in a local success story, Martyn Holmes of Bunker Self-Build Housing Co-op. He told the story of Bunker’s beginnings – two neighbours chatting over the garden fence, both living in private rented housing that they were struggling to afford and fed up with their housing situation. Along with their families, they are soon to start work on two modular houses in Brighton, making use of a small and difficult site that a big developer wouldn’t be attracted to.

For Bunker, part of the reason for choosing a self-build project was the money they would save. Martyn explained that group self-build schemes can result in cost savings of up to 40% or more.

Community-led housing is good for Brighton & Hove because:

  • It provides additional affordable and stable housing to those in need.
  • It creates and demonstrates alternative ways of living which have a positive impact on wellbeing.
  • It helps local people develop new skills as they make their projects a reality.
  • It encourages collaboration and co-operative between local people and involves them in decisions about new housing.
  • People have more say in how their homes are developed and managed.
  • It creates an opportunity to make use of empty buildings and vacant land, revitalising communities.

BHCLT is working with Co-operative Housing in Brighton & Hove (CHIBAH) and Mutual Aid In Sussex (MAIS) to deliver the Community-Led Housing Programme.

For more information contact Amy Hall and Ed Jones, Communications Officers with BHCLT on comms@bhclt.org.uk

Notes for editors

  1. Brighton & Hove Community Land Trust (BHCLT) is a non-profit community-led organisation working to put housing development back in the hands of people who need it. It is one of over 225 Community Land Trusts (CLTs) in England and Wales. Find out more at: https://bhclt.org.uk/
  2. A national Community Housing Fund of £60 million has been shared between almost 150 councils to help tackle the problem of high levels of second home ownership in their communities. Brighton & Hove City Council (BHCC) was allocated £464,500 and the fund was in turn, awarded to BHCLT, which is acting as the lead partner in this programme of work, alongside CHIBAH and MAIS.
  3. Community Land Trusts have developed over 700 permanently affordable units and will have developed a further 3,000 by 2020. Find out more at the National CLT Network website: http://www.communitylandtrusts.org.uk/
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Community-Led Housing Programme launches in Brighton & Hove

Wednesday 21 February 2018, 5.30-9pm (Registration from 5:15pm)

Auditorium, Brighthelm Centre, North Road, Brighton, East Sussex BN1 1YD

Community-led housing allows local people to take control of their housing and create alternatives to the limited choices offered by the current housing market. The new Brighton & Hove Community-Led Housing Programme supports groups of people to come together and organise, or build, their own affordable homes. Applications are open for financial support and free advice to help make people’s ideas a reality.

The Programme is run by Brighton & Hove Community Land Trust and supported by Brighton & Hove City Council (BHCC), through the Department of Communities & Local Government’s Community Housing Fund.

Community-led housing projects already underway in Brighton & Hove include housing co-operatives, cohousing projects and self-build projects.

At the event there will be the opportunity to:

  • Find out more about community-led housing.
  • Hear about exciting examples of community-led housing in Brighton & Hove.
  • Meet people who want to start their own affordable housing projects.
  • Find out more about Housing Ourselves grants available to housing groups.
  • Learn about how the Programme can connect you with experts, or how your expertise could be useful to a community-led housing group.

‘It is an exciting year for community-led housing in the city,’ says BHCLT Community-led Housing Programme Manager, Andrea Jones. ‘There are already some great projects across the city and this Programme will help more people to create genuinely affordable housing solutions for themselves.’

‘Too often people in the city feel like they have no control over their housing, particularly when rents and house prices are so high. Community-led housing is a chance for people to both solve their housing problems, and build a sense of community through working together.’

BHCLT Community-led Housing Programme includes:

  • Housing Ourselves: Financial support through loans or grants to housing groups.
  • Discovering suitable land and properties and helping groups acquire them for housing projects.
  • Connecting local people who want to start their own housing projects and providing them with expertise and support.
  • Raising awareness and building knowledge about housing with local people, the council and others who work in housing.

Councillor Anne Meadows, chair of Brighton & Hove City Council’s Housing & New Homes Committee, said: ‘There is a huge demand for housing in the city, with the supply of affordable housing not keeping pace with demand. We’re looking at every option to help provide more affordable homes for the city, and the community-led housing programme is something we’re very keen to support.’

Community-led housing is good for Brighton & Hove because:

  • It provides additional affordable and stable housing to those in need.
  • It creates and demonstrates alternative ways of living which have a positive impact on wellbeing.
  • It helps local people develop new skills as they make their projects a reality.
  • It encourages collaboration and co-operative between local people and involves them in decisions about new housing.
  • People have more say in how their homes are developed and managed.
  • It creates an opportunity to make use of empty buildings and vacant land, revitalising communities.

BHCLT is working with Co-operative Housing in Brighton & Hove (CHIBAH) and Mutual Aid In Sussex (MAIS) to deliver the Community-led Housing programme.

The event is free entry and food will be provided. People are asked to sign up via Eventbrite if they would like to attend.

For more information, including to hear more about existing community-led housing projects in Brighton & Hove contact Amy Hall or Ed Jones, Communications Officers with BHCLT on comms@bhclt.org.uk

Notes for editors

  1. Brighton & Hove Community Land Trust (BHCLT) is a non-profit community-led organisation working to put housing development back in the hands of people who need it. It is one of over 225 Community Land Trusts (CLTs) in England and Wales. Find out more at: https://bhclt.org.uk/
  2. A national Community Housing Fund of £60 million has been shared between almost 150 councils to help tackle the problem of high levels of second home ownership in their communities. Brighton & Hove City Council (BHCC) was allocated £464,500 and the fund was in turn, awarded to BHCLT, which is acting as the lead partner in this programme of work, alongside CHIBAH and MAIS.
  3. Community Land Trusts have developed over 700 permanently affordable units and will have developed a further 3,000 by 2020. Find out more at the National CLT Network website: http://www.communitylandtrusts.org.uk/
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