Affordable Housing in Staughton – is at last becoming a reality

It started with the Village Plan which identified a need for affordable housing for people with a local connection. Negotiations with HDC, meetings with the Community Land Trust, Charity Commission involvement, legal difficulties all followed but now finally, we are ready to form a Community Land Trust (CLT) to build and manage 8 properties in the Charity Field on Perry Road. In total it is planned there will be 10 properties on the field, but 2 will be sold to assist in financing the scheme. The rules of the CLT have now been drawn up (you can see them on this village website), and they are adapted to our specific needs.

The scheme will be presented by a panel of experts at a special public meeting on Saturday February 3 2018, starting at 7.00pm in the village hall, and all residents of the parish are cordially invited to attend. Our panel includes Jonathan Gray – District Councillor, Frank Mastrandrea – HDC Housing, Andy Chapman – Luminus, and Debbie Wildridge – Area representative of the Community Land Trust. Their presentations are bound to lead to many audience questions about this innovative scheme, so we hope that there will be a healthy turnout!

An important part of the meeting will be a resolution to form the Great Staughton Community Land Trust and residents will have the opportunity of registering their interest ahead of the official Notice of Incorporation which will take place on March 1 2018. You can become a member of the Great Staughton CLT on payment of a pound, and have a say in the running of the organisation, and be eligible for election to the Board. You can join at the meeting on 3rd February or indicate your wish with your details in the contact section of the website.

This is one of the most important meetings we have had in the village so do put the date in your diary now!

 

 Background Information

A Steering Group has been established for the scheme, comprising of Bob Jewell (Chair), Sir Hugh Duberly, Anthony Withers, Frank Backhouse, Phil Yates, Janet Bowen and Tracey Stokes, who will also attend the meeting on February 3rd.

HDC has agreed in principle that the site of the proposed scheme could form a ‘rural exception site’ for planning purposes. All Local Authorities are now under a duty to establish areas of land for potential building purposes in their area, to meet government building targets.

A CLT is a legal mixture of a company, a charity and a trust, registered as a society under the Co-Operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014, with charitable status and unable to trade for profit. CLTs are often used to run affordable housing schemes and other community based ventures.

The rules of the Gt Staughton CLT will govern who is eligible to be a member and so can apply for and own a £1 share in the CLT (must be a resident of the Parish of Gt Staughton and on its electoral roll), how it is run (by a board of 5 to 12 of the members, who are called trustees, elected for 3 year terms), how meetings must be organised and run, as well as the general powers and responsibilities of the CLT. In these respects it will be run like a company, holding an annual general meeting with reports back to its members.

The decisions on the specific type of housing, the nature of the tenancy (rented or shared ownership) and the exact details of who can occupy the properties will be decided by the CLT. It is intended that all the properties will be first made available to those who have strong connection with Great Staughton and then to those from surrounding villages. This will form the basis of the allocations policy operated by the housing association.

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