Please see the below submission to HM Treasury 2020 Comprehensive Spending Review by Wiltshire Community Land Trust.
Dear HM Treasury,
I am writing on behalf of the Wiltshire Community Land Trust to urge you to deliver on the Government`s manifesto commitment to renew the Community Housing Fund for five years, investing £180m in revenue and capital.
We are a member of the National CLT Network, which has already set out a comprehensive case for CLTs and community led housing in a submission to the CSR, which we fully support. We urge you to study that report in detail, noting in particular the evidence pointing to the way in which CLTs and community led housing are helping to deliver more well designed and environmentally sustainable affordable homes with great value for money. It is also highly significant that such schemes build on and strengthen community endeavour at a time when the coronavirus pandemic threatens us all.
In Wiltshire we have been supporting local communities in Wiltshire and Swindon to engage in the delivery of homes for locals, and we form part of a very effective partnership between ourselves and the local authorities of Wiltshire and Swindon, the Wiltshire Association of Local Councils, and Community First Wiltshire & Swindon (our Rural Community Council ) to form Homes of our Own, a Community Led Housing Hub that provides support, advice and training for communities across Wiltshire and Swindon. Despite the pandemic we have built up a pipeline of potential community led housing schemes, and we are hoping to celebrate very soon the successful construction of ten affordable homes developed by a local Community Land Trust in the village of Seend in Wiltshire. Although we are putting Homes of our Own onto a self-sustaining financial footing in the longer term through a fee-paying structure, our initial plans were based on the promise of further funding from the Community Housing Fund, which is now essential to build immediately on these early successes. This is now especially the case while facing all the difficulties presented by the pandemic. We are working with communities who have shown a very positive response to that crisis, which we very much hope will lead to further engagement in the challenge of building homes for their own people.
We believe that the case for community-led housing is irrefutable. The National CLT Network has spelt out that case in detail and I do not wish to repeat it here. Suffice to say that in Wiltshire, as in so many parts of the country, the promised renewal of the Community Housing Fund is essential if we are to continue to build the level and quality of support that local communities deserve in taking on the challenge of building “homes of our own.”
I have kept this submission as brief as possible but please let me know if you need further information. I would also appreciate confirmation of receipt of this submission, and that it has been directed to the relevant officials.
Chair of Wiltshire Community Land Trust