Image of Amir Rizwan

Amir Rizwan

Investment Manager

Charities Aid Foundation


COMMUNITY LAND TRUST FUND I - WHAT WE HAVE LEARNED BY SUPPORTING COMMUNITIES TO BUILD THEIR FOREVER AFFORDABLE HOMES

14 March 2016

We at CAF Venturesome are pleased to have published a paper on our first Community Land Trust Fund, which has successfully supported communities across England to build their forever affordable homes.  This paper includes our learnings from managing the first CLT-specific fund in the UK, including success, challenges, and recommendations that we look to share with others to encourage more support for the CLT sector. Please find a few highlights below. You can download the entire paper via our website, here.

KEY FINDINGS

  • The Fund, launched when the CLT sector in the UK was in its infancy, supported schemes aiming to develop 231 affordable homes and exceeded initial expectations.
  • The Fund has supported the growth of the CLT market providing repayable finance to about 22% of all CLTs in existence at the time, including 44% of CLTs that were at an advanced stage (not including CLTs that have just formed).

Key stats

  • The Fund’s repayable finance is unique and is the only national source of such financing available to CLTs.
  • All development loans have repaid in full. The default rate of 0% is an extremely encouraging result and we hope that this positive performance attracts additional and lower-cost risk capital.
  • We are still managing several pre-development loans and more time is needed to adequately assess the risk of this loan type. We think it is unlikely that this type of finance can be provided without a subsidy, given its high-risk nature.
  • The Fund leveraged £7.4 million of external development finance and exceeded expectations, despite thinking it would be challenging given the nascent nature of the sector at the time.
  • Although the Fund met all of its objectives there was and still is a high need for the type of pre-development and development finance that the Fund provides. This is why we launched the second CLT Social Investment Fund in 2014.
  • Some of the biggest barriers to getting new schemes off the ground include sourcing land, securing funding and obtaining planning permission. In some cases these challenges have delayed the development of affordable homes and in others they have made schemes unviable.
  • The Fund’s goals have been picked up by the second CLT Social Investment Fund, which is actively providing repayable finance. However, as we aim to encourage other funders to come into the market, we hope that the sector will continue to be filled by a growing ecosystem of other finance providers. Development finance, due to its lower risk, may be attractive to new development lenders and/or to current lenders at higher LTVs. However, pre-development will likely need some form of subsidy (grant or cross-subsidy from a more profitable product).


Therefore, we encourage socially-minded funders (grant providers and lenders alike) focusing on the community and affordable housing space to strongly consider providing more pre-development funding.

Want to know more? Talk to our team on 03000 123 300 or email us at venturesome@cafonline.org and we’ll be happy to help.

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