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My name is Lyn Kesterton and I work for Locality’s Community-led Housing unit.
First of all, I should say well done for trying to progress a Community-led housing (CLH) project – it’s true there are many barriers to face, but don’t let that stop you – there is support out there.
Availability and cost of land is a common problem faced by almost every CLH project, as is the question of being taken seriously in the early stages, so I guess my first piece of advice would be to get yourself set up as an appropriate legal entity as soon as possible. This shows you are serious and that you are prepared to take steps to prove it. I know it’s hard to find funding for this, but have you read about the support offered by the Community Land Trust Network here?
If you haven’t already made contact with them, I would advise you do so.
Locality is working hard to ensure that communities get a fair bite at the cherry when it comes to accessing local land and I do agree with the points you make.
We will be able to go into more detail about all the various options and what Locality is doing to improve the situation for local housing projects at the advice session next week, but in the meantime, see this link for more info on Community Right to Build http://mycommunity.org.uk/programme/community-buildings/