We began to pick up where we had left off with our ideas of community building. If the Church and Council were looking at marrying the two sites for a larger housing development, then being both public mission landowners surely they should at least consider a community scheme for local families committed to the local area and local church?
About this time I received an email from the Community Land Trust Network that our application for first stage funding had been successful and I could chose an advisor to work with us for our first scoping day. They also approved my application for a bursary ticket for the National Community Led Housing Conference later that month – watch this space!
We met with Stephen Hill, then Chair of UK Cohousing Network and Trustee of Community Land Trust Network. Stephen set out our current position and set out two or three different routes of community led housing we could look at.
At the present time we were two families looking to house ourselves with the potential to help other families along the way. As such, we did not represent a community benefit organisation.
Community Land Trusts steward land for the community, with the community having a say in the organisation, and members have a vote. There is quite a formal governance and legal structure, and those who set up the CLT do not necessarily get to live in it. Cohousing is slightly different and perhaps closer to what we were envisaging. Cohousing groups are intentional communities run by the residents. The initial group have a significant role in designing and creating the community.