This evening, the Haslemere CLT will be addressing a special meeting of the Haslemere town councillors, on their plans. Their website proclaims that
The Haslemere Community Land Trust is new
It is “not-for-profit”
It works to create affordable housing
It is run BY the community
It is run FOR the community
It works IN the community
I have been interested in the trust since I first read about it. In Haslemere, we are fortunate to live in an extremely desirable location, rich in history and natural beauty, but also in comfortable commuting distance to London – but that very desirability means that property prices are high, and so not always affordable for young people who have grown up here.
Our local Liberal Democrat team are committed to the importance of securing affordable housing – but that means genuinely affordable, particularly social rented housing, rather the legal governent definition, which simply meas a little less expensive than others in the neighbourhood. so not necessarily affordable at all, for those on average or low incomes. Formal housing studies agree: the “West Surrey Strategic Housing Assessment” study states the primary need is in the affordable/social market sector, especially for smaller homes suitable for young couples starting out, and for older people wanting to downsize. These are not the housing types that private developers are likely to prioritise: they are generally more likely to be more interested in larger, more expensive family homes.
My concerns are in general alignment with the aims of the Haslemere Community Land Trust. The challenge will be to find ways to realise these aims. I look forward to this evening’s discussion, and will report back later.
Read more, from the Haslemere Community Land Trust: