We're deligthed to say we're working with Homes for Oxford to assemble a bid for the Irving Building in East Oxford. This was announced at our recent AGM. More info below, but if you're short of time but want to help then you can donate to our bid costs by clicking here https://www.justgiving.com/irvingbuilding
First of all OCLT has joined forces with Oxford Cohousing, Kindling Housing Co-operative and Happy House Co-operative to form Homes for Oxford. We are primarily doing this in order to combine forces to make a credible bid for the Wolvercote Paper Mill site, owned by the University and which is currently being marketed by Savills.
OCLT's AGM was attended by 29 members and after business was concluded Miranda Shaw provided a wonderful buffet lunch. Robin Gray of Three Acres and a Cow fame entertained and involved those present with a variety of land-related protest songs. He was joined in this by local land activists and musicians Jackie Singer and Phil Pritchard. We were able to provide such welcome entertainment because of a generous grant from the cosmetics company LUSH. OCLT would like to thank LUSH for their support at a time when our batteries have been a bit low.
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A Community Land Trust (a CLT) is an organisation set up to own and manage land by and for a local community. Through this organisation, the land is owned by the community in perpetuity and used for the explicit benefit of that community. It might be used for any purpose which benefits the community to which it is linked: housing, workspace, leisure or horticulture. There are various legal structures which can underpin a CLT (read more) but one key aspect of the idea is that the land cannot be sold off for private gain. Through this mechanism (called an asset lock), the CLT aims to ensure permanent and affordable access to the land for whichever purpose the community needs.
One of the biggest needs, even in this time of recession, is to provide land for affordable housing. Increasing numbers of working people find it difficult or impossible to find a secure and affordable place to live. There is also a great shortage of social housing and many working families have no access to them. (read more section to include stats about numbers waiting in Oxon, ratios of average price to av earnings). CLTs offer a way to provide permanently affordable land (it is permanently owned by the community so doesn’t keep going up in value) for housing and other local needs.
A CLT organisation is set up by a local group of people who get together to DO something to ensure there are more affordable assets for that community. These could be for housing, workspace, food production or leisure. There are various legal mechanisms which can underpin this. OCLT is an Industrial and Provident Society for the Benefit of the Community.
We were registered as an Industrial and Provident society in December 2004 and have been meeting regularly ever since (read more about who we are). In June 2008 we began the process of acquiring a small piece of land in Cumnor Parish (read more under Projects). We aim to build half a dozen affordable homes on this land once Thames Water has replaced the current sewage system. We hope to be able to begin on site by 2012.