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About us

We're a Community Land Trust for all of Oxfordshire.
 

As a Community Land Trust (CLT), we act as a long-term steward of land and the assets on it, ensuring that it's put to use in a way that benefits the local community, not just now but in perpetuity. We're a democratic, not-for-profit organisation run by members of the communities we seek to serve. You can find an official definition of a CLT here.


Our current focus is on providing high-quality, sustainable and genuinely and permanently affordable housing, as well as green space for our communities to flourish. You can read more on our website about the problem we want to solve, and why we believe that community-led housing is the solution

How we operate

We're owned by our nearly 400 members, most of whom live in Oxfordshire. Our members elect our board of directors who, together with some freelance consultants and volunteers, manage OCLT's day-to-day activities.

The technical bit (or: how we make this work)

 

Community Land Trusts can adopt a variety of structures to enable these activities, with various implications. In our case:

  • We're a Community Benefit Society. This means that we operate on a not-for-profit basis, and are organised on the principle of one member one vote. Anyone can become a member for just £1. Every member can vote in our AGM, and any member can be nominated to join our Board.

  • We're an “exempt charity” with charitable status, registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (though we are not a charity registered with the Charity Commission and therefore not a “registered charity”). This flows from our identity as a Community Benefit Society. It means that we are required to comply with general principles of charity law. Our activities must therefore be of benefit to the public.

  • We're a registered provider of social housing (aka “housing association”). Unlike tenants in Local Authority properties, housing association tenants do not have a Right to Buy their homes, so our housing is protected from being sold off in the way that much council housing has been. Being a housing association allows us to apply for grant money from Homes England to develop new affordable housing. It also means we're regulated by the Regulator of Social Housing (RSH). If OCLT were ever dissolved, the RSH would ensure that our assets continue to be used for their intended, or similar, purposes. In practice, if a housing association has to close, the RSH transfers its stock to another housing association.

  • We're an asset-locked organisation. This means we have rules (paragraphs G13-14 on “Dissolution”) that stipulate that, if OCLT is ever dissolved, then any residual assets – after all members’ share capital (i.e. £1) has been refunded according to our rules – must be transferred to another body whose purpose is to benefit the public. (This becomes relevant if we ever stop being a registered provider – see point above.)

 

You can find our governing document here.

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