Frome Area Community Land Trust (FACLT) held an information session in the council chamber for local councillors this month to deepen understanding of community land trusts. FACLT and its sister organisation Fair Housing for Frome have been working on plans to provide affordable housing for local people.
Roger Saunders, chair of FACLT said “With a new administration settling into Frome Town Council and the change from district to unitary council next year, we thought the time was right to strengthen our relationship with local councillors, so that they can fully appreciate the possibilities that can be opened up by Community Land Trusts.” Roger and fellow director Delia Goddard presented their work to councillors from Frome Town Council and Somerset. They demonstrated how community land trusts represent a welcome alternative to traditional ways of developing land for housing, and that they keep affordable rents front and centre of their policy.
Roger said “Because it’s a Community Land trust, FACLT can secure a housing site in perpetuity for the community. Any housing developed will remain affordable to local people in demonstrable housing need.”
Planning and Development Manager at FTC Jane Llewellyn explained to councillors that working with local housing groups is encouraged by Frome Town Council’s Neigbourhood Plan.
The plan states that one of the ways the council can help reduce housing costs is by ‘working with not-for-profit partners and community housing organisations, and supporting the allocation of affordable housing through development agreements with private developers.’
Delia Goddard commented “As directors we were really encouraged by the positive suggestions from councillors at this session. They had some great ideas about how to strengthen community housing in the town and this will help keep affordable housing on the agenda.”