We are often asked is how to make housing affordable in perpetuity. There is no easy answer, though this article explores a possible solution.

Consider a community right to build order

This is where a local community group comes together to design and submit a planning application for a development in their local area, which is then voted on in a local referendum. It puts the control of the development in the hands of the community, and not the local authority. Where the community organisation goes on to also develop the land itself, then the development can only be disposed of, improved and developed in a manner which the organisation considers benefits the local community.

Another aspect of a community right to build order is that it disapplies certain statutory rights of tenants of long leases. In particular, it disapplies a tenant's right to buy their freehold and the statutory right given to qualifying tenants to acquire social housing.

This is a big step on the way to ensuring that housing can be retained by a community group as affordable housing in perpetuity.

How do groups obtain a community right to build order?

Interested groups who have found an appropriate site should be asking their planning advisor if a community right to build order might suit them. You can read more about the community right to build here.

Property law points that community-led housing groups ought to be aware of:

Unfair hidden ground rent costs on new builds - We consider the effect on community-led housing groups using leaseholds

Did you know that landlords (incl community housing landlords) are obliged to consult with tenants under 'long term tenancy agreements'?