The Holy Island of Lindisfarne Community Development Trust

our community matters
Affordable Housing

Our most recent houses in Green Lane
The impetus behind the Trust's establishment was the need to address the serious problems caused by ever-increasing house prices which threatened to force local people off the island and compromising the future of the local school - a situation exacerbated by the popularity of the island with holiday home owners.
 
The Trust embarked on a scheme to provide affordable housing on the island - wholly classed as a rural exception site. It gained funding from a national charitable trust and together with a bank loan (repayable from rental income) it completed 2 affordable rental schemes - 5 houses and 2 flats.
 
The Trust then found the original families needed larger homes and a decision was made to build more homes. This project - on land purchased by the Trust in 2006 that formed part of a back garden of a large island home - comprised 4 three-bed houses.
 
As the Trust struggled to secure charitable grants that had been available to them for their first scheme, 4 Housing Group (4HG), helped broker the potential development with support from the Federation of Northumberland Development Trusts (FoNDT) and Hands-on-Help for Communities.
 
In a landmark move, the Trust were awarded a grant from the Homes & Communities Agency (HCA) for 212,000 - which equated to about a third of the total development cost. It was the first investment the HCA had made from its National Affordable Housing Programme in a community land trust. Construction work started - in mid 2009 and in January 2010 four local families moved in - families who would otherwise have been forced to leave the island.
 
4HG gave the Trust development support and took over the management of the new tenants. They have also taken on the maintenance of all the Trust's homes, with the Trust remaining the landlord. The homes cannot be sold under 'right to acquire' legislation, which means that these affordable homes will continue to be available for the benefit of the island's future generations.
 
Local people have moved in to all the three-bedroomed homes and about 20% of the permanent island residents and 50% of local schoolchildren now live in homes provided by the Trust. School numbers have also risen.
 
The Trust has proved that seemingly overwhelming barriers to increasing the supply of rural housing can be overcome. Not only did the Trust win the HCA's Rural Housing award 2010 but a guide for CLTs on how to work with the HCA has been produced as a result of the Holy Island project.
 
Links
www.homesandcommunities.co.uk/holy-island
www.communitylandtrusts.org.uk/See-it-and-Believe-it/rural-case-studies/Holy_Island_CDT