325 Fishponds Road (Photograph by Bristol CLT)
A Community and Council-Initiated CLT developer
Bristol CLT (BCLT) was initiated with the support of the local council as part of its Community-Led Housing strategy. It is structured as a Community Benefit Society which local people can join for £1, and uses a traditional tri-partite governance structure, representing selected stakeholders, residents and the local community. Start-up funding from the council covered an initial public event, and the cost of an employee for one year. BCLT is designed to operate within a specific geographic region for those meeting certain affordability criteria. BCLT also carries out a role as a regional CLT Hub, supporting the initiation and development of other CLTs in the region.
Bristol CLT currently has one completed project (at Fishponds Road, Bristol) and at least two further projects in development. At Fishponds Road, the site was provided by the local council for £1 through a tailor-made tendering process seeking “an exemplary sustainable custom build market and affordable self-building housing scheme”. BCLT was the only bidder and won the bid in partnership with a local housing association, enabling partial funding through social housing funding sources. The remainder of the funding came through a commercial loan, supplemented by self-build contributions from residents.
Affordability at Fishponds Road is achieved through a partial equity/rental model. Residents purchase between 25% and 75% of the equity in their homes as a 99-year lease and pay rent on the unowned portion. Residents may incrementally purchase the remainder of the equity in their homes or may sell the portion of equity they already own at a price controlled to reflect the relative affordability of their original purchase. The minimum period before a resident can sell on is five years, to ensure residents have a genuine connection with the community. BCLT retains the freehold ownership of the site.
Project: Fishponds Road involved community-led development of 12 homes, on land acquired from Bristol City Council. Homes are a mix of shared ownership and affordable rent, completed in 2016, they are now fully occupied.
Membership: Open to people who live or work in BCLT’s ‘area of benefit’ (defined as the “West of England comprising the four local authority areas around Bristol which comprise the former county of Avon” but the Bristol City Council area is the primary focus) who fall into one of three categories:
- “Resident”, those who have been or hope to be housed through the CLT
- “Community”, anyone who wishes to support the CLT’s aims
- “Stakeholder” bodies such as the city council or a supportive registered housing provider who contribute to it or individuals making a particular contribution