Join a free Housing Hub webinar

A fortnight ago we had to take the decision to cancel the remaining four events of our Community Housing Hub launch programme, which was disappointing, but it felt like the right thing to do. Our first two events at the beginning of the month, at Seavington in South Somerset and Wells in Mendip, were really successful, beginning some great conversations and making some helpful connections. 

Communities everywhere are facing serious challenges at the moment, and times are uncertain. Whilst we appreciate that many of you may have more urgent issues right now, for those of you who do have the time, we want to keep sharing the Wessex Community Housing Hub. To reach as many people as possible we’re going to be running a webinar on Wednesday 1st April, at 2pm and repeated at 7:30pm, as a replacement for the cancelled events. You can find out more here, and sign up to your preferred time. You’ll be sent joining instructions so it will be really simple to participate. 

Even if you can’t make the webinar, we want you to know that the Housing Hub is still open and accessible, whether it be that you’re worried about what the current restrictions mean for your community housing project, or you want to start a project but don’t know what to do first, we’re here to help and will be for the foreseeable future!

Chagford CT’s business units …

Chagford Community Trust is providing affordable homes but will also have business units to let. This is from their website.

“The employment units and the role of the CCT

The Bellacouch Meadow application includes a block of small employment units with a public toilet block at ground floor level.

It was broadly agreed by the Steering Group and Parish Council that the ideal outcome would be for the employment units to be held by a Community Trust, for the benefit of the wider community.

Below we have provided some thoughts on how we might proceed. It is certainly an approach that has worked well in a number of other parts of the country.

The CCT’s “business/philosophical premise” underpins its approach. The employment units should:

  1. Be ring-fenced for the benefit of Chagford.
  2. Deliver an opportunity for new businesses to get established in the town.
  3. Provide premises for young, local entrepreneurs to get a foothold in business.
  4. Encourage businesses that will provide employment and not just a lifestyle for the owner.
  5. Encourage businesses that benefit the town itself, rather than those that simply need a base for a wider operation.
  6. Change hands on a regular basis, so as to continually offer the aforementioned.
  7. Provide a source of income to CLT, that can be spent on other community projects or other community initiatives.
  8. Be “profitable” and produce an annual surplus over expenditure and maintenance.

The CCT has considered which models will deliver the above philosophy and these will include a combination of the following:

  • 1 unit will be offered on the business “incubator” model as favoured by the Transition Town Movement (see below) or with a subsidised rent and no incubator assistance.
  • 3 further units will be available at a market rent, with no incubator assistance.

All four units are limited to Class B1 use.

The business “incubator” model

A business incubator is a facility that helps new and start-up businesses to develop, by providing services such as management training, mentoring and work space. Services like:

  • Space to operate from,
  • Help with business basics,
  • Networking activities,
  • Marketing assistance,
  • High-speed Internet access,
  • Help with accounting/financial management.

For more information on these units, please contact our managing agent at https://www.fowlersproperties.co.uk.  Updates on progress will be put on this website, and you can also join the CCT to be kept informed.”

Share our experience of CLT/HA Partnerships – 27th March 2019, Norton sub Hamdon Village Hall, Somerset

It’s nearly 9 years since the Wessex CLT Project was established and, in that time, we’ve supported 45 partnerships between Community Land Trusts and RPs, 14 of which are now complete. We’re sharing our experience of supporting these projects at an event on 27th March.  The event is aimed at those with practical experience of the development process for affordable housing, possibly working with Local Authorities, Housing Associations, Homes England, Architectural Practices, Legal Firms, Community Housing Hubs and so on.

Click here to book: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/community-land-trust-and-rp-partnerships-the-wessex-experience-tickets-56052046179?ref=estw

The cost of booking on to this event is £88 plus VAT.

Places are limited to 25. If the event is oversubscribed please contact Alison on alison.ward@wessexca.co.uk to go on the waiting list or register interest in another date.

National CLT Network Awards

Congratulations to Liz of Norton sub Hamdon CLT and to Lyme Regis CLT who won the Can’t stop, won’t stop and People-powered homes awards at the National CLT Network AGM. Each received a ‘goose’ to signify that, like geese flying in formation, CLTs take turns to head the chevron. Alison accepted the award on behalf of LRCLT. The presentations were made by Peg Alexander whose film about community housing beautifully captures the passion of local volunteers.

    

Can’t stop, won’t stop 

The CLT movement is full of unsung heroes and people who continuously go the extra mile, but for no personal gain other than the betterment of their community.  The hours of volunteering time people are willing to give to see positive change means hundreds of awards could get dished out here, but alas we only have one. 

People-powered homes 

Community, community, community. There’s no getting away from it, people are at the heart of this movement. You’re showing the wider housing sector how genuine community engagement is done.