Combating the housing emergency

Cornwall Community Land Trust offers more encouraging news in these difficult times for the charitable community-led homes sector. Everyone is talking about the “Housing Emergency”. But the challenges for those who can do most at help address it have never been greater. Doing the right thing to deliver all affordable housing projects which offer good quality, energy efficient and in perpetuity homes for locals has never been harder in a development system and market which seems to be tipped so heavily against us.

2021 presented the charity sector in which we operate with particular challenges. Not east the continued and severe overheating of the local housing market, the related increased insecurity for thousands of local families caused by the diminishing private rented sector and the rampant inflation in construction costs caused by the UK’s changing international trading conditions and the consequences of the covid pandemic. Cornwall CLT has been as affected by these as have other charities working in this sector. Some projects temporarily stalled or delayed. Other opportunities evaporated after months and sometimes years of negotiation came to nothing as the enticement of encouraging rewards in a sellers’ market resulted in community ambitions being swept aside

But with this newsletter we can report reasons for optimism. The success of the Ruan Minor project. Local families happily spent their first winter in new, spacious and energy efficient homes. A big success for Grade Ruan CLT and Cornwall CLT.

Our partnership with the Council of the Isles of Scilly to deliver 12 self-build homes on former Duchy land, 4 exciting planning applications all due for determination to benefit the communities of Newlyn. Lanivet, St Dennis and Carleen to look forward to, 6 homes to be delivered later this year by St Ives CLT and many other projects making very good progress. In addition, we are finding that community and landowner partners are responding positively and coming together with increased energy and determination to do all they can to help the thousands of local families they can see are being so ill-treated by an unfair and lop-sided property market.

So we’re optimistic that 2022 will be a great year for the Community-led Homes and Charity housing sector.

Andrew George, Chief Executive CCLT