Issue details

Community Led Housing - Grant Application by Histon & Impington CLT

Background

 

In December 2016, the government announced a new annual fund of £60m to help councils tackle

the problem of high levels of second homeownership in their communities, which, impacts on the housing supply.  This funding is called The Community Housing Fund, its purpose is to put local groups in the driving seat and help them deliver affordable housing through community initiatives, such as Community Land Trusts.  South Cambridgeshire District Council received £50,329 grant funding and the City Council also received a similar amount.

 

In the first few years of receiving the grant, both councils commissioned CLT East to provide specialist advice and support to help local communities bring forward affordable housing schemes. As part of the funding received, grants of £4,500 are being offered to help seed-fund set up costs for local communities.  The remaining money available from the funding received from government will enable the South Cambridgeshire District Council to seed-fund two more community groups.

 

 

Purpose

 

To approve the application received from Histon & Impington Community Land Trust for a grant of £4,500 to help them to legally set up as a Community Benefit Society. Histon & Impington CLT believe that this would be the best legal format to deliver their objectives.  It will give them the opportunity to act as custodians for the villages and provide much needed affordable homes for people with strong local connections. It will also safeguard community assets and buildings and give local people a say on what they want for Histon & Impington, including the appropriate design standards of homes/buildings to complement the villages.

 

Histon & Impington CLT have been working with specialist advisors who have helped them to prepare the scoping report (attached at Appendix B). 

 

As funding is limited, applications are considered and prioritised based on an assessment criteria.

 

The application meets the criteria set out below:

 

Assessment Criteria

 

Deliverability of the scheme, this includes whether land is identified

Whilst no land has yet been secured, the CLT have several potential sites in mind for development. Once the CLT is formed legally, they will engage with the community and potentially do an open call for sites if no suitable sites are found in the meantime.

 

Delivery timescales

Short term (next 6 months)

  • Successful grant application to SCDC
  • Become legally incorporated
  • Develop and implement a strong engagement strategy
  • Build a strong support network and community buy-in
  • Launch an online comments form
  • Establish a membership form and build membership

 

Medium term (up to 3 years)

  • Produce evidence-based understanding of housing need
  • Increase membership
  • Successfully complete first project
  • Establish a vision for future projects
  • Provide community feedback on projects
  • Provide social value metrics on completed project

Housing need, priority will be given in areas where there is a high level of identified housing need

Through the neighbourhood plan it has identified a need for more affordable housing with emphasis on one and two bed properties for older residents and young families. Simple two bed terrace homes, considered starter homes, sell for over £200k, which is beyond the reach of families with a combined income of £40k per year. In recent years there has been little new affordable housing due to the lack of suitable developments coming forward.

Do the proposals support a Neighbourhood Plan

Yes, Histon & Impington has submitted a neighbourhood plan for examination in August 2019. The visions and aims complement one another for the best interest of the community. In the survey ‘Affordable Housing’ was ranked third in terms of what people worry about regarding the future of Histon & Impington.  The supply of affordable housing was the second most important in terms of need for improvement.

 

The NP policy HIM18 Housing Mix and Meeting Housing Needs states that developments based on a CLT

model of ownership are encouraged.

 

Decision type: Non-key

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Wards affected: Histon & Impington;

Notice of proposed decision first published: 01/06/2020

Decision due: 11 May 2020 by Lead Cabinet member for Housing

Lead member: Lead Cabinet member for Housing

Lead director: Housing Director

Contact: Julie Fletcher, Head of Housing Strategy Email: julie.fletcher@scambs.gov.uk Tel: 01954 713352.

Consultees

All Local Members for Histon and Impington have been consulted on the request for grant funding.

 

Councillor Pippa Heylings states that she is fully supportive of this grant application and believes that the local CLT can play a critical role in providing affordable housing and also deliver wider community benefits.  She very much hopes that Histon & Impington CLT will be awarded the grant and can move to full incorporation of the CLT.

 

Councillor Martin Cahn has also stated that he is very much in favour of this proposal and is very happy that the recommendation is to approve the grant. The application is well founded, and the group of people involved in the proposal include people with good knowledge and experience in the field. 

 

Councillor Steve Hunt states that he wholeheartedly endorses and supports this application, and would be delighted to see the grant approved. The Histon & Impington CLT has real potential over time to influence the provision of local affordable housing and associated community benefits. They have put a good team together and have a clear plan for how to use the money to take the group forward.

Purpose of Report: Community Led Housing Grant Application Form from Histon & Impington Community Land Trust Scoping Report to Histon & Impington CLT Steering Group

Decisions

Agenda items

Documents

  • Grant decision