Oxfordshire community land trust launches £500k share offer

Hook Norton CLT is looking to complete work on 12 climate-positive, affordable homes, in a project designed to tackle the impact of soaring house prices in the village

A community land trust (CLT) in Oxfordshire has launched a £500,000 share offer on Ethex so it can finish work on 12 homes, currently under construction.

Hook Norton CLT started the project in response to soaring house prices in the village, which are pricing out local families and young people, and restricting options for older residents looking to downsize to smaller, more energy-efficient homes.

Eight of the community-owned homes will be offered to locals at affordable rental rates, and four will be offered for sale to local people looking to downsize. 

The CLT says the development will create the UK’s smallest group of homes powered by its own renewable energy microgrid, making it climate-positive. It promises the highest energy efficiency standards, saving residents money on energy bills and lowering carbon emissions.

It also wants to support Hook Norton’s sense of community by creating shared buildings within the development for local use.

For investors, it predicts an annual return of 6% – subject to the usual risks – and the chance to support a “community-led-housing model that can be replicated around the UK as a viable approach to affordable housing”.

The total cost of the project is £3.7m and the CLT has received £80,000 in grant funding. The eight rented homes are being sold under a renewable 125-year lease to Soha Housing, a mutualised housing association working in and around Oxfordshire. Together with the sale of the four homes at market value, this is expected to raise a further £3.12m. The outstanding £500,000 needed to complete the project will be raised in this community share offer.

The CLT will retain the freehold of the entire site.

Closing date for applications is 20 May. More details here.