Last Updated on: 22nd November 2023, 02:34 pm
Localis, an independent think-tank, has called for the government to invest £100 million into Community Land Trusts (CLTs) to build affordable housing in tourism hotspots. The report, titled ‘Brightness on the Edge of Town: How Community Land Trusts Can Deliver Affordable Housing’, found that without these funds, those who work to maintain the rural tourism sector will be unable to find suitable accommodation in these areas.
The report also recommends future planning reforms to redefine affordable housing, based on local economic and social circumstances.
Localis researcher Sandy Forsyth said: “While there is much positive work being done to guard rural communities against the negative impacts of over-tourism and the highly pressured housing market, much more is needed. With the ongoing cost-of-living crisis more people than ever are in need of genuinely affordable options for housing. Community Land Trusts can provide enhanced community engagement in areas that are becoming increasingly diluted by massive tourist populations, supplying a more holistic, social benefit through the enactment of democratic decision-making and community ownership.”
Localis head of research, Joe Fyans, added: “The current definition of affordable housing does not deliver for rural communities, particularly in areas of high tourist activity. It is essential that future planning reforms redefine affordable housing, moving to an income-focused approach where councils have the ability to influence the income level defines affordable housing in their area, based on local circumstances.”
Cllr Kevin Bentley, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s People and Places Board, said: “Affordable homes for local people are essential if we are to build on and maintain our vital tourism industry, particularly in rural areas where housing is even more at a premium. Giving councils greater freedoms and flexibilities to be able to build these homes, backed by adequate resources, as this report recommends would revitalise communities in our most popular destinations while safeguarding local jobs and services.”
Tom Chance, chief executive of the Community Land Trust Network, added: “More than one hundred communities are trying to build more affordable homes in tourist hotspots, and many are succeeding. Homes that are designed and owned locally, and truly affordable to local people, today and forever. This report shows how the government and councils could give Community Land Trusts a shot in the arm to counteract the risk of second home blight.”
With the aim of providing affordable housing options for local people, Localis has called on the government to invest £100 million into Community Land Trusts in rural areas of England and Wales. The report highlights the need for long-term funding and new planning reforms which will redefine affordable housing based on local economic and social circumstances. Cllr Kevin Bentley, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s People and Places Board, has expressed support for these measures, stating that they will revitalise communities while protecting local jobs and services. Tom Chance, chief executive of the Community Land Trust Network, has also expressed his support, noting that the report shows how the government and councils can help community-led housing in the UK.