The North Horsham Community Land Trust (CLT) was very pleased to attend the Sussex Green Hub at the end of January to explain to residents who we are and what we are aiming to achieve.
NHCLT was formed following an initiative by North Horsham Parish Council in January 2020. We are a community led, not-for-profit organisation, run by local people for local people with the aim of providing local homes to rent for people who live and/or work in North Horsham Parish and its environs. As a co-operative and Community Benefit Society we operate under the guidance of Action in rural Sussex (AirS) and the National Community Land Trust Network.
One of the many problems facing young people in an apparently affluent area like Horsham is the lack of starter homes that are truly affordable. So often planning permission is granted including so-called affordable homes as part of a bigger development, but then not built out as they make less profit for the developers. A lot of our young people either have to live with parents or move away from the area in order to rent or buy a home. This has a knock-on effect on employment locally as employers can’t get young people to join them. It also leads to a lack of younger people becoming involved in the local community.
Horsham has many people employed in valuable, much needed roles but, as these jobs are not well paid, they also are unable to afford to commute or to live locally, with the result that the town loses valuable people to carry out important jobs.
What we want to do is provide genuinely affordable housing in the area, that the CLT would own in perpetuity to rent to local people at a rate that means they can live comfortably and, crucially, be able to save, so they can eventually afford to buy a home of their own in the local area.
To achieve this, we need to expand our membership, find suitable properties and sites to redevelop, either in conjunction with a social housing provider or under our own control, and then let these homes to local people who are currently either sharing with others or, unfortunately, in temporary accommodation on the local authority housing list.
So, we really need some enthusiastic people to help us. If you’d like to become involved, find out more about us, or just buy a £1 share and become a member, we’d love to hear from you.
You can contact us via our website: https://northhorshamclt.org/ or email at:
By Peter Beckley