• Lead Member Bristol City Council
  • Categories Housing

Bristol City Council (BCC) believes that decent affordable homes are the foundation of a successful city and the most effective way of addressing inequalities. It supports CLH because it gives residents the opportunity to get involved in addressing local housing needs and assisting the council to bring forward new market and affordable housing schemes. The Mayor of Bristol’s aspiration is for CLH to start developing 300-500 community-led homes over the next five years.

Bristol’s Local Plan has allocated 226 hectares of land for mixed use housing development. Its Business Plan 2017-18 commits to building 2,000 new homes – 800 affordable – a year by 2020. One measure to achieve this is to support CLTs, community development trusts, local builders and self-builders on identified council and private sites, to build more homes appropriate to the neighbourhood, creating more mixed and balanced communities.

In 2011 BCC helped to establish Bristol Community Land Trust (BCLT), providing capacity funding for a development worker and seed corn finance.  It made a surplus council site available at a discounted value to assist the CLT to develop 12 homes for shared ownership and affordable rent.  The next project is for 50 homes. As a registered provider, BCLT receives HCA funding and plans to join the Homes West Partnership to access enabling funds from BCC to build new affordable homes to rent.  BCLT acts as an umbrella group for other CLTs and a conduit for Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) and council grants.

The Council works with a range of partners to support the development of CLH, including BCLT, a development trust, community groups and self-build collectives. It supports new CLH groups by providing capacity funding and offers groups 12 month exclusive options to purchase council sites at market value. This permits them to secure additional finances to develop new homes.

A new single, multi-disciplinary housing delivery team in BCC will provide a single point of contact for all delivery partners.  It is engaging with CLH groups and small and medium-size enterprises to see what policy changes and guidance will help them deliver more effectively. An affordable housing policy is being prepared as part of the Local Plan to make land available for community-led development at scale. It may include a provision to allow a developer to offer to CLH a percentage of plots for shared equity affordable housing, in lieu of making on-site provision for intermediate affordable housing. These plots may be offered en-bloc to CLH groups.

The development of CLH in Bristol will also be supported by a Community HUB funded by Power to Change.  This will act as a resource centre for CLH and a single channel in negotiations with the council on areas such as policy development.

Full Case Study: Bristol City Council – CLH