Photo (c) Howard Willson

Hereford Community Land Trust

The Hereford Community Land Trust was formed in 2016 and is part of a national network of local Land Trusts. We are actively seeking more members who have an interest in local affordable homes for others in the city or for themselves. It is important that we build up membership to give weight to the case for development of high quality community provision that can truly be afforded by all. Lifetime membership can be secured as either Full or County members for a payment of £5. The following is a summary of what the Trust seeks to achieve.

What is a Community Land Trust?

A CLT is a non-profit community-based organisation, run essentially by its members, which acquires and holds land on which the CLT’s specified objectives are carried out. Most CLTs develop and own ‘permanently affordable’ housing, possibly with other assets such as workspaces, open spaces and community facilities, which together meet the needs of the community.

Land is held in perpetuity and once built, properties are protected from fluctuations in land market valuations by a legal ‘asset lock’ that is a fundamental part of all CLT structures: assets can only ever be sold or developed in a manner which benefits the local community. Should the CLT go out of business, the land has to be passed on to another organisation with similar objectives

What exactly is HCLTs Mission?

Our central mission is to provide low-cost, high-quality homes for sale or rent to local people in the Hereford area and surrounds. Following pathways developed by CLTs elsewhere, our aim is for these to be designed with community input to be energy-efficient and low-carbon, built with locally sourced materials and skills in a sustainable setting that includes food production, renewable energy, waste management, and all that is necessary for a healthy, balanced community. Clearly, for homes to be affordable compromises in some areas may have to be considered.

The intention is to provide as many units as possible that are genuinely affordable  to buy or rent or some combination of the two.  Because of being built to a high standard of insulation they should also be economical to heat. This will almost certainly entail building some homes for market sale so as to help cross-subsidise any development. We anticipate there will be scope for self-build or self-finish options, and for providing or managing community facilities such as open spaces and allotments. All assets will be retained in community ownership in perpetuity.

Why Join?

Someone may wish to support provision of affordable housing in the Hereford area as a matter of principle, or may want affordable housing for themselves or for people they know. They may have an interest in the built environment and wish to get involved with a lively and co-operative group of people aiming to establish something better than profit-driven ‘dormitory’ development. Or they may feel that housing nationally is in crisis and would like to help see the problem addressed locally through community-led approaches.

Whatever the motivations, we encourage those who meet the membership criteria (see below) to join HCLT, so the group can benefit from their ideas and skills, and can demonstrate widespread community support.

Who Can Join?

Anyone who lives, works (paid or unpaid) or studies in Hereford, or lives elsewhere but is actively involved in Hereford community events, and is aged 16 or over, is welcome to become a member of HCLT on condition that they support its stated aims and values, and pay a one-off fee of £5. “County” membership is also available for those simply wishing to support the Trust’s objectives. An application form is attached for completion, enclosing your remittance, to be posted or hand delivered to Hereford Town Hall at St Owen Street, HR1 2PJ.

Further information from these websites:-

Hereford: www.herefordcitycouncil.gov.uk/your-city/hclt

National: www.communitylandtrusts.org.uk

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