At Cornwall CLT we find that people looking for information on community land trusts and affordable housing, or looking for an affordable home in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, frequently ask the following questions:

What is a community land trust (CLT)?
  • A CLT is a not for profit, community based organisation run mainly by volunteers that develop housing at permanently affordable levels or other assets for long term community benefit.


  • The statutory definition is in Part 2 of the Housing & Regeneration Act, 2008.
Who can become a Member of Cornwall Community Land Trust?

Anybody who is over the age of 18 and who is able to support the objectives of the community land trust can apply in writing to become a shareholder for a £1 share.

How are Board Members elected?

Cornwall CLT’s shareholders elect the Board at the Annual General Meeting which is held every year, generally during the month of June.

What is affordable housing?

Affordable housing includes social rented, affordable rented and intermediate housing (both for rent and sale) provided to eligible households whose needs are not met by the open market. Eligibility is determined with regard to local incomes and local house prices, and detailed guidance about eligibility is published by Cornwall Council.

The Planning Authority uses planning conditions and legal agreements (known as section 106 agreements) to ensure affordable homes remain at an affordable price for future eligible households. In some cases, homes can be bought and sold at full market value but only if the increase in value is recycled to provide more affordable homes.

What types of tenure do community land trusts offer?

Cornwall CLT mainly provides low cost housing for sale to local people, but is also involved in providing a variety of other tenures.

Why are there so many different types of affordable housing?

Different households can have very different housing needs. For example, someone seeking work might need to rent a home at a very low price. But a young couple earning an average wage, might need help to buy their first home. Because households are in different circumstances with varying incomes, affordable housing schemes are designed to offer a range of choices.

What main types of affordable housing are there?

SOCIAL RENTED HOUSING (delivered through housing association partners).
Social rented housing is owned and let by local authorities including Cornwall Council and housing associations. These homes are offered at the lowest rents which are set by Government (sometimes called target rents). To qualify to rent a social rented home in Cornwall, you must register with Cornwall Homechoice Housing Register.
In 2012, average social rent levels in Cornwall were between £62 and £79 per week.
Affordable rented housing was introduced in 2011. It is owned and let by housing associations or CLTs and homes are managed and maintained in the same way as social rented homes. But Government allows higher rents to be charged (up to 80% of open market rents). Because more rent is charged, the housing providers can generate income to help build more homes. Such rents are often charged on new build homes. Housing benefit can still be claimed to assist with paying the rent. To qualify to rent an affordable rented home in Cornwall; you must register with Cornwall Homechoice Housing Register.
In 2012, average affordable rent levels in Cornwall were on average £116 per week (between £91 and £146, depending upon the number of bedrooms).
Intermediate housing is a general term used for affordable homes, both to rent and buy, which are aimed at those households who can’t afford to meet their needs in the open market but can afford more than very low social rents. Typically, this might include households who want to buy their own home or those who might not be given a high priority for rented housing through the Council’s homechoice scheme.

What types of Intermediate housing are there?

SHARED OWNERSHIP (also known as Homebuy)
Shared ownership is designed for people who cannot afford to buy a house on the open market but still want to get on the property ladder. An initial share is bought (usually 25% to 75%) and then rent is paid on the remaining part. There are two monthly payments, one for the mortgage and one for the rent. However, these are still less than the mortgage would be on an open market property. The other share in your home is owned by a housing association or a CLT. It may be possible for you to increase or decrease the share you own later. This is known as staircasing. When you sell a shared ownership property, the proceeds are split according to who owns what. If you have staircased from 50% to 80%, then you would get 80% of the value of the property when you sell it. Unless your home is within a restricted village or rural area, it is usually possible to buy 100% of your home outright so it becomes a traditional open market property.
These properties are built and sold at below market value by private developers. The initial sales price is anywhere between 40% and 70% of the open market value (depending upon whether the property is in a high or low value part of Cornwall).

You buy the property at a discounted price and own the freehold of the entire property. Unlike shared ownership, you don’t have to pay rent on the remaining share of the property, as there is no remaining share.

When you come to sell the discounted property, a legal agreement requires you to sell the property at the same percentage of open market value as you bought for so that the property remains affordable. For example, if you pay £80,000 for an affordable property worth £100,000 and it rises in value to £110,000 by the time you sell it, the 20% discount would be passed on and you could sell it for £88,000. The legal agreements are enforced by the CLT.

If you want to find out more or apply for affordable housing, contact the Council's Homechoice scheme on 0300 1234 161 for social or affordable housing to rent.

Contact Help to Buy South West on 0300 100 0021 for all forms of affordable housing to buy.

How are the homes allocated?

Priority is always given to local families.

If you want to find out more or apply for affordable housing, contact the Council's Homechoice scheme on 0300 1234 161 for social or affordable housing to rent.

Contact Help to Buy South West on 0300 100 0021 for all forms of affordable housing to buy.

Does Cornwall CLT help to arrange mortgages?

No, but we can put you in touch with organisations that can offer guidance.

Does Cornwall CLT provide assistance for groups wishing to set up housing co-operatives or co-housing?

It does not provide these services directly, but can give some basic advice and signpost community groups to organisations that can provide specialist assistance.

For more information call 01872 243554 or e-mail