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Leasehold reforms threaten affordable housing

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  • 31/08/2017
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Leasehold reforms threaten affordable housing
The government’s proposed leasehold reforms would stymie community-led housing providers, jeopardising thousands of new homes, a housing charity has claimed.

In July, the government launched a consultation on leasehold reform after concerns were raised that developers are abusing the use of leasehold, saddling homebuyers with unreasonable and escalating costs.

However, in its response to the consultation, the National Community Land Trust Network said leases are used in Community Land Trusts (CLTs) to retain the control of land and ensure prices are forever affordable. This approach enables CLT properties to be aligned to local earnings.

The charity has called on the government to protect community-led housing by exempting CLTs from the ban. Together with network UK Cohousing, it is also suggesting a code of conduct is established for public interest leases.

Catherine Harrington, National Community Land Trust Network director, said: “Community Land Trusts have played no role in the exploitation of leasehold. While we support the consultation’s goal of addressing the unfair and unreasonable abuses of leasehold by developers and private investors, CLTs are one of a few approaches using leasehold to deliver genuinely affordable housing.”

She added: “CLTs are a form of community-led housing, set up and run by ordinary people who want to help people in housing need. It’s the fastest growing housing model in the UK. We hope other responsible housing providers will join us to campaign for a Code of Conduct for Public Interest Leases.”

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