Welcome to the final week of our #HeroesOfChange campaign. Each week, we’ve explored some of the movements that we’ve been most excited by. From the parkrunners to the Quakers to the Airbnb’ers, there are movements swelling around us each day, and we’ve just cut a little slice of them through this 8 week campaign.

This final week, we look to communities taking matters into their own hands. Communities who work together to provide solutions, and communities that band together in the face of difficulty. We’re very proud to call the Community Land Trust movement our final #HeroesOfChange.

Who are they

Community Land Trusts help communities to develop affordable housing. Land is either gifted to the community or bought with collective community money. Houses are then developed on the land, and long-term affordable houses are available to the community. The homes will remain affordable because they’re based on the earnings of people within the community.

There are now around 225 Community Land Trusts in England.

Meet the movement builders

The Community Land Trust movement developed in the United States, first in rural areas and after the 1980s in urban areas. In rural areas, some communities within villages have historically taken control of their land to build homes and services. These are the ‘classic’ community land trusts.

In urban areas, often people gather together to form community land trusts as a barrier against gentrification, and a pathway to stick to affordable housing in an era of increasingly unaffordable homes.

There’s a rich history to both rural and urban community land trusts. They have created a powerful network, supported by the Community Land Trust Network. They’re asserting themselves as solid frontrunners in the solution to the housing crisis.

What next

While the movement has been growing for years, the Community Land Trust Network have almost the exact opposite challenge to the rest of the voluntary sector at the moment. Money is not the biggest challenge for the Community Land Trust Network, rather it’s establishing the community network to take the work forward.

It’ll be interesting to see how the alliance of community housing groups are going to organise in areas where it hasn’t organically popped up in a way that truly reflects the desires of the local community.

This movement is doing some incredible work – it’s time to tell the world about it!