New organisation seeks to develop ‘truly affordable’ homes in Adur

An initiative to develop ‘truly affordable’ homes in Adur is looking to recruit hundreds of new members.

Monday, 16th November 2020, 5:44 pm
Adur Collective Community Land Trust signing up members in Lancing

The Adur Collective Community Land Trust was set up in August last year to try and solve the housing challenges faced in the district.

Secretary Jo Crockett said there was an ‘acute affordable housing problem in Adur’.

“We live in a lovely part of the world by the sea and by the downs,” she said.

“Unfortunately one of the downsides is that the property market is very expensive, and yet people’s wages don’t reflect that.

“We are trying to find a community solution to that.”

The government’s definition of affordable housing is 80 per cent of the market rate – which is still too high for many people on local wages, she said.

The community land trust will act as a not-for-profit developer, creating homes for people who live or work in Adur by either building properties or refurbishing existing properties.

Its rental policy would be linked to local earnings in Adur, to ensure homes were affordable and remain affordable.

Ms Crockett said: “Our goal would be to get as close as possible to this not being more than 30 per cent of a household’s mean disposable income – what is known as a living rent.”

Ms Crockett said that analysis of Adur’s housing register showed that the properties most in demand were one or two-bed hones.

Renting a two-bed home in Adur cost around £800 a month, she said, which could take up around 50 per cent of the monthly income of someone in the lowest earning quartile.

“People’s rent at the moment takes up so much of their monthly income, which stifles lots of other things in people’s lives,” she said.

Funding for the homes would come from a various streams – from bank loans, to capital from investors, to community shares and grants.

Any homes created will be legally locked into the Community Land Trust, protecting them and ensuring they cannot be sold off for profit.

The trust elected its board in September and is now working to identify potential land or properties, by talking to Adur District Council, landowners and other supportive organisations.

The community land trust is a membership organisation, which means members can vote in any decisions and have a say in its direction – including agreeing its Homes Allocation Policy.

Any adult who lives or works in Adur can become a member by purchasing a £1 share. People can buy as many shares as they want to help support the initiative.

Ms Crockett said: “We need to recruit hundreds of members to demonstrate that there is an active network of people who want community led housing to be an option in Adur. If this is you, then please join!”

To find out more, visit www.acclt.org/join-uk