First new build community-led housing development
Recently OCLT submitted plans to Vale of White Horse DC for eight flats on a small site in Dean Court Botley. Earlier this year OCLT finally bought the site after a long wrangle with the Charity Commission. OCLT received sizable donations from two local philanthropists, enough to employ a project manager (John Bloxsom).
This has made a huge difference and now we are moving along! John has not only secured a grant of £67,000 from the Community Housing Fund for the Dean Court project but has also worked with Vale officers to secure a further grant of £156,000 from the same fund towards the cost of opening up the site through a service road and utility connections, money that has to be spent by February 2020.
So the tenacity has paid off!
Community Share Offer
OCLT is also working on plans for a Community Share Offer with a launch some time later in the year. This is exciting and a fantastic way for the local community to be directly supportive of the work whilst still getting a modest return.
The Share Offer will initially be linked to the Dean Court project but could also be linked to other future projects that are in the pipeline.
OCLT is working closely with Ethex who will host the share offer.
Membership of OCLT
Even if you don’t want to or can’t invest there is still a crucial way you can support and help build the Community-Led Housing sector, become a member of OCLT by signing up here.
Help us recruit other like-minded people who might be interested in making more community-led housing happen. We need to create a network of members across all communities and neighbourhoods within the county both big and small with a view to being able to develop over time, further small developments of genuinely and permanently affordable homes for local people.
The Collaborative Housing Hub
We have been part of the team to secure money to set up a Community Led Housing advice and support centre based in Oxford but operating across Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire (Thames Valley).
The purpose is to support and develop community-led groups across the county. There are quite a few such groups of intrepid people at very early stages and some have already applied to the Community Housing Fund,a government fund of £163m to provide grants to groups.
If you have an interest in starting such a group (for yourself or for others in housing need) then please get in touch with them directly.
Do you have legal or finance experience and a desire to help OCLT develop?
We are looking for two new Board Members, one with an accounting and finance background and one with a legal/property background. Commitment would be two hour Board Meetings once a month on the third Monday (at our office in Makespace) plus reading associated papers and generally keeping up with developments in Community-led Housing.
If this whets your appetite then get in touch with Fran Ryan
Watch out for our next newsletter which will announce OCLT’s 2019 AGM in September