Big Issue Invest has provided investment into an affordable housing development in Lewisham.
These will be the first new homes to receive capital funding through the Mayor of London’s Community Housing Fund and will be built for residents of the borough in need of an affordable home.
The land for the project is provided by Lewisham Council as part of their Building for Lewisham programme, which is delivering new social homes across the borough.
The 11 houses will be funded through London CLT community shareholders, the GLA and Big Issue Invest.The development is located in Sydenham and replaces a small garage site within the Brasted Close Estate.
The project will be 100% genuinely and permanently affordable, with each home sold at a price linked to local incomes. This means that homes will be around half the market price for homes in the same neighbourhood. When residents move on, they will have to sell the homes at prices linked to local incomes, meaning they will be affordable for generations to come. Residents on the housing waiting register will receive additional priority.
The homes are being delivered by London Community Land Trust, who are working with their local members and residents to deliver the homes. Community land trusts (CLTs) are set up and run by ordinary people to develop and manage homes, as well as other assets. CLTs act as long-term stewards of homes, ensuring that they remain genuinely affordable, based on what people actually earn in their area, not just for now but for every future occupier.
The project started when local residents in Lewisham organised to become Lewisham Citizens, a local organisation who actively campaign to tackle many of the big challenges that their community faces. Concerned about the ever-increasing house prices in their area, they decided to do something about it themselves. Since then, 300 have become members of London Community Land Trust and have worked with Lewisham Council, who provided the land, and key partners like Archio and Rooff to draw up the plans. London CLT community shareholders, the Greater London Authority and Big Issue Invest have provided the funding.
The funding from the GLA is £990,000 in grant and comes from the Mayor of London’s £38m Community Housing Fund, which is expected to unlock 500 community-led homes by 2023 through making grants and loans available to support building, development, and delivery. Some of the funding will also be allocated to provide financial help for potential costs such as submitting planning applications or design fees.
Katy, a local resident that lives next to the site, said:
The work that LCLT and Lewisham Citizens has done has been really amazing. CLTs are a great way to tackle the housing crisis in London and as a [neighbouring] resident… it’s been really great to be actively involved in decision-making. Basically, every step of the way, the community has been part of meetings and asked to give feedback – our voices have been heard and taken into consideration. Although I’m not looking forward to all the building work just outside my window, I am looking forward to seeing the community grow – it’s a nice friendly estate and this will breathe some fresh life
into our community. CLTs are a great way forward and can really do a lot in London to help people who want to live here but can’t because house prices are so extortionate.”
Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said:
All too often London’s communities are negatively impacted by the capital’s housing crisis. I’m delighted that our Community Housing Fund is now giving Lewisham residents the opportunity to take control of their housing destiny and build the high quality, permanently affordable homes they deserve. This shows what can be achieved when community builders work together with City Hall and local councils. I look forward to seeing the progress of this and other community-led housing projects across London in the years to come.”
Glenn Arradon, Investment Director at Big Issue Invest said:
I am delighted that Big Issue Invest was able to support LCLT in their journey. We believe their inclusive approach to building genuinely affordable homes is truly ground-breaking and we hope to
continue providing the finance that will help them create even more homes in the years to come.”
To find out more information visit the website www.londonclt.org.