Housing

Use of land for housing is one of the most sought after uses to secure in many communities (mainly because the supply of housing usually lags behind demand in many areas) particularly where lack of homes may be a major contributor to the overall long term survival of a village or neighbourhood.

Housing use for an asset is also divided into rented or owned. Owned housing may be either freehold or leasehold and rented can be from a tenancy provided by a private landlord or a social landlord like a housing association, co-operative or community land trust.

Affordable housing includes intermediate housing which is for rent or buying at prices and rents above those of social rent but below market price or rents. These can include shared equity and other low cost homes for sale and intermediate rent.

To creates homes that meet affordability requirements in local areas means that the high cost of building homes, and managing those that are for rent, usually requires financial subsidy which can be difficult to secure.

Housing schemes face particular difficulties as they are often complex and subject to a lot of regulation, so require careful planning.

However they are increasingly being taken on by local organisations where affordability is addressed by securing subsidy and creating a mix of homes that can cross subsidise each other to meet the costs of building and managing an overall scheme. In these schemes there may be elements of full market cost homes for sale, homes for rent or equity share where an occupant can part buy their homes.

Community Land Trusts (see section G of the portal) have emerged over a number of years to put together these kinds of schemes, sometimes in partnership with a registered housing provider, sometimes with help from landowners who provide land for homes at discounted rates. Over time they often develop other asset types like community facilities, food growing and workspace.

Some development trusts have also developed housing using the shared equity model or by acquiring land and leasing it to housing cooperatives.

In Wales a combination of housing and food growing is the www.lammas.org.uk project where a small eco village proposal is being developed. In addition, www.landforpeople.co.uk is helping several community land trusts develop their proposals for housing.