Community Property Trusts
C O M M U N I T Y P R O P E R T Y T R U S T S
Supporting And Providing Affordable Housing For Local People
Despite the recessionary pressures on the residential property market, including the difficulties in obtaining a mortgage, the ever increasing cost of land and materials, there is still no “light at the end of the tunnel” for first time buyers.
Against this backdrop there is an opportunity for farmers and landowners in rural communities to “put something back” by donating land for an “Exception Site”. This is land on the edge of a town or village, which would not normally be considered for residential development but the local planners will make an “exception” providing all the houses are “affordable”.
The term “affordable” has, unfortunately, become muddled with social housing and perhaps understandably, landowners do not want a local authority’s difficult tenants in their backyard. This is where the Community Property Trust comes into its own.
Community Property Trusts are made up of local people who want to provide affordable housing for people in their own communities. That Affordable Housing can be either “shared equity” or “rental housing” and Community Property Trusts can also deliver workspaces, such as “Live/Work Units” and Community Space, such as a Village/Community Shop. Such a Trust was set up in Holsworthy in 2005, following consultations with the local people after the Foot and Mouth outbreak in 2001.
What does “local” mean? It means, living, working, having gone to school, or having strong family ties in the locality.
What does “affordable” mean? It means not being able to afford to buy outright in the open market, but having a household income between approximately £15,000 – £26,000.
Because the Property Trust is made up of local people, who have the final say over the allocation of the Trust’s properties, it can ensure that the right people are matched with the right property.
The Holsworthy Community Property Trust has so far provided nine homes for local people on an equity share basis but would like to be able to do much more. For this to happen, it either needs funds to finance the “equity share” or Exception Sites upon which it can then raise funds from equitable lenders such as Venturesome and The Charity Bank, build affordable housing and sell a share or rent those houses to local people.
Why should anyone donate land on the edge of a town or village, when it might, at some time in the future, be able to be developed for open market housing? The Liberal Democrat MP Matthew Taylor, compiled a report for Gordon Brown on Affordable Housing and Sustainable Rural Communities last summer. It recommended using the planning system to ensure that Exception Sites proceed a little easier than previously and with “zero possibility” of ever securing open market housing!
If there are like minded people in communities like Holsworthy, those communities can establish their own Community Property Trusts and ensure their local youngsters and key workers can continue to live and work in their local communities. That Community Support is vital as has been seen with the recent publicity over the proposal in the South Hams opposed by Second Home Owners including ITV Sports Presenter Steve Ryder!
If you would like to know more about Exception Sites or Community Land Trusts, please contact Pam Johns, a Partner with COODES Solicitors and a founding Trustee and Secretary of the Holsworthy Community Property Trust at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pam Johns : 11.03.2009
- Coodes Services on Offer
- Family & Relationships
- Wills, Probate & Trusts
- Personal Injury Solicitors
- Residential Property
- Business and Employment
- Debt Recovery Service
- So you think your brand is protected?
- Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures
- HR and Employment Policy Procedures
- Coodes For Your Business
- Contracts of Employment
- Employee Rights
- Termination of Employment
- Wrongful Dismissal
- Employment Online Enquiry
- Personal Disputes
- Mental Health
- Elderly client services
- About Coodes
- Coodes Help
- Coodes Offices