7.7.1. Community land trusts

Community Land Trusts (CLTs) are community-owned organisations run by their members with a primary purpose of developing affordable homes.

See this page in: Cymraeg

The National CLT Network lists some 225 existing CLTs across England and Wales, about 60 of which have developed 700 homes between them.


Community Land Trusts (CLTs) are community-owned organisations run by their members, whose primary purpose is to develop affordable homes (based on what local people earn) for the first occupiers and permanently for every subsequent occupier. They may also develop workspaces, community facilities or other assets that meet community needs.

Membership and assets

A CLT’s membership is legally defined as being open to all the people who live and work in a defined community area (and potentially others), which could include those who live in homes built. A CLT’s assets are legally defined as being controlled by its membership and can only be disposed of if the CLT’s membership considers this would benefit the local community.

Rural and urban

CLTs can operate in different ways, but they have particularly played a significant role in rural areas where high land values have resulted in lack of affordability for local people. There is now current exploration of how to implement CLTs in urban areas, with Leeds Community Homes being an example where local people are aiming to develop homes in Leeds using various methods.

The following CLT approaches have been particularly successful:

  • County-wide Umbrella CLTs, such as Cornwall CLT and the prospective Gwynedd CLT, that develop homes in isolated rural settlements through small local CLTs. These may cross subsidise low cost housing development through market sales and they may provide low cost home ownership opportunities (with affordability built in through covenants) shared ownership, or rental homes.
  • A model pioneered by Wessex CLT Project where village or town based CLTs develop homes in partnership with a housing association where the CLT owns scheme freehold and grants a long-term lease to a housing association to enable them to develop, finance and subsequently manage homes developed. Covenants in the lease enable the CLT to have an input into home design and allocations and provide for a small local CLT income. The Wessex CLT project has supported 20 CLTs in Devon, Somerset and Dorset using this method, and others have also used a similar approach.
  • Urban based regeneration approaches where the CLT establishes other CCLH vehicles within the organisation to achieve particular ends, such as at West Rhyl CLT, where West Rhyl Co-operative is being set up within the CLT in relation to their Afallon housing development.

Case studies

Examples of ‘Community Land Trust’ schemes:

  1. Cornwall Community Land Trust
  2. Toller Porcorum Community Land Trust

Sector representation

The CLT sector is represented by the National CLT Network.