Minister signals consultation on Community Land Trusts to lower cost of homes

The government is to issue a consultation on how to promote the adoption of Community Land Trusts as a way of delivering more affordable housing.

Junior housing minister Ian Wright said yesterday that the communities department would issue a consultation on how to develop the model in the summer.

The Community Land Trust model, which guarantees affordable housing perpetuity by removing the price of land from the cost of housing, are being increasing touted by figures across the political spectrum as a solution to increasing affordable housing supply.

Ian Wright said: “The role of government is as facilitator, addressing the barriers the industry faces. That’s why we’re going to invite the views of industry on how to take the debate forward.”

However, the department could give no further detail as to the exactly what questions the consultation would ask, and what the government might propose in this area. understands that the decision to issue a consultation in this area was taken by Wright and housing minister Caroline Flint only in the last few days.

The government is currently under pressure to include a statutory definition of Community Land Trusts within the Housing and Regeneration Bill which is currently progressing through parliament, a move it has been resisting.

Community Land Trusts are development vehicles in which the land is owned jointly in trust by the residents, but is kept separate from the price of the homes themselves, meaning the house prices are not affected by land price inflation.

Social housing quango the Housing Corporation is currently researching how more CLTs might be brought forward, and last summer confirmed that CLTs would be eligible to receive government housing grant for the first time.

Stephen Hill, director of consultancy C20 Futureplanners, said: “This is great news, but we have to see what the government comes out with.”