Following concerns of residents about the increasing number of empty homes in the town a group came together and agreed to form a Community Land Trust (CLT). The intention was to obtain, refurbish and rent homes to local people at affordable rates.
That was 4 years ago. In conjunction with our partner registered housing provider 13 Group and with grants from Redcar & Cleveland council and Homes England, we have purchased 5 properties and are about to embark on refurbishing them. We hope to conclude this stage of the process by summer and in the meantime will be looking for tenants who will be selected by a resident driven allocations policy.
Residents are a key part of our board, recently established and now meeting regularly to oversee our project. We are registered with the Company’s House. We have had welcome professional support and where we can, we will use local contractors for our work. We will also be working with the local college to provide training and practical work experience for young people.
In addition to the housing project, for several months now we have been operating an Eco-Shop which enables local people to purchase 10 items for £2. This is proving very popular and is run by volunteers. We als have an allotment, yet to achieve its full potential, although tools and materials have been generously donated to us.
Our ambition is to increase our rent income by developing more properties, expanding our community activities and in the process become self-sustaining.
CLT housing initiatives are being developed across the country and are supported and advised by the national CLT network. Whilst the process can be a little daunting, developing our own skills and utilising those of others has been crucial.
Further information is available on our website southbankclt.org