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May 25, 2010

Land value is the issue

The massively inflated housing market hasn’t collapsed (yet) as some predicted which means that there continues to be a serious lack of affordable housing. It is estimated that in the most expensive areas, around 50% of the price of a house is reflected in the value of the land it sits on.  Some argue that the only way to address this problem permanently is by introducing Land Value Taxation.  In the meantime, there is growing interest in Community Land Trusts as a mechanism to remove the inflated land values from the housing market

Plans have been finalised for the establishment this year of an independent support body intended to represent the needs of local bodies across England that own or manage land or assets for the benefit of the community.

The Department for Communities and Local Government recently awarded social policy charity the Carnegie UK  and research unit Community Finance Solutions a £100,000 over two years to set up the CLT National Facilitation Body to support community land trusts.

It is set to be delivered through an existing body due to be announced in June and will aim to assist CLTs’ growth by forging links with stakeholders including social lenders development trusts, Councils and housing and regeneration quango the Homes & Communities Agency. It is also intended to provide training and legal advice, and lobby government.

Andrew Williamson, a consultant specializing in CLTs and a supervisory board member of the new body, said: “CLTs are moving from the experimental phase to the replication stage. This initiative is a further welcome step in their development.’