Community-led schemes the key for affordable homes in Cornwall

Community-led schemes the key for affordable homes in Cornwall

With the foundations of 18 new homes being built in Duloe, Cornwall, the Cornwall Community Land Trust (CCLT) believe that the best and most effective way of ensuring that affordable homes are kept affordable while safeguarding the local communities is by using community-led schemes.

The CCLt are one of the most active community land trusts across the nation, and they are leading the scheme to build the houses in Duloe, which will be located on Jubilee Close.

Out of the 18 homes, ten will be shared ownership, while the remaining eight will be up for affordable rent. Interestingly, the two and three bedroom homes – due for completion by January 2019 – are only available to people either from Duloe, or to those with a strong connection with the local area.

Speaking about the project, Helen Downing – the development manager of the CCLT and has been overseeing things – made the point that Cornish residents are being forced out of the market due to costs, so wanted to take things into their own hands.

“There’s been much talk of housing in the budget but many Cornish residents remain totally priced out of the market,” Downing said. “One of the best ways to combat the housing crisis in Cornwall is by communities taking house building into their own hands.

“Our trust works with locals to secure the land, the funding and the building of homes. The homes are then rented below the market rent or bought at a genuinely affordable price, an importantly can only be sold at a below-market value to local first-time buyers.”

More often than not in Cornwall, the term ‘affordable housing’ is used as a small proportion of homes that are wedged into a bigger housing scheme, normally part of the developer’s obligations to meet. the planning guidelines set in stone.

However, Duloe want to be different, and the CCLT are working closely with the Aster Group – a developer who are making an active effort to build top end family houses – to try and rectify this.

The trust is being ambitious and plans to build at least 50 homes in Cornwall every year by 2020, and director Andrew George believes that it is very possible for this to be achieved.

“Nationally there are now 225 CLTs, 800 homes have been built and there are another 4,500 in the pipeline,” George said.

“Cornwall has been and will continue to become of the most successful places in the UK for Community-led homes. The regional and national support infrastructure is starting to grow across the country and I am ambitious for what this sector can be in Cornwall.

“I foresee this type of community led housing emerging from being a ‘niche’ market into a mainstream option to quality affordable build homes and safeguard our local communities.”

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