The 5 Steps to holding the keys of a Midhurst Community Land Trust home
We are actively seeking opportunities for land acquisition that would be suitable for the development of sustainable housing. As soon as information becomes available on our developments and the availability of accommodation, they will be published under the Projects and Partnerships page.
This shows support for Midhurst Community Land Trust and will entitle the occupant/s to share in the regular meetings of the Midhurst Community Land Trust and to receive regular bulletins.
An initial conversation with the Midhurst Community Land Trust Chair or a member of the Midhurst Community Land Trust committee to decide if an application is worth proceeding with and if so to establish what Midhurst Community Land Trust home may be appropriate and available. Information will also be shared concerning the policies of Midhurst Community Land Trust including Payment of Rent, Anti – social Behaviour, keeping pets etc.
This step seeks to ensure that all the criteria as determined by the allocations policy (Section 3) are met.
Evidence of meeting the criteria will be asked for at this stage by the completion of a form.
Questions will determine present circumstances of applicant and financial need and eligibility from income to saving and debt status. Applicants will be asked to state the regular monthly income and to give approval for a credit check to be made.
Following receipt of application if the criteria for a home is met and a suitable one is available applicants will be informed of outcome and will meet with 2 or 3 members of the committee.
Allocation of units will be determined solely on the extent to which the criteria outlined in the allocations policy have been met and therefore will be free from discrimination
Applicants will receive feedback on their application. It will be made clear in the process who should be contacted when issues arise. Honesty and openness on the part of all is expected.
To make the allocation criteria as simple as possible.
1.1 Midhurst Community Land Trust Ltd is Company Limited by Guarantee (Company Number: 10887222), registered under the Companies Act 2006 whose registered office is Midhurst Community Land Trust, Greens Court, West Street, Midhurst, West Sussex, GU29 9NQ. Midhurst CLT is also a Community Land Trust and is hereinafter referred to as the “Trust”.
2.1 To provide low cost affordable housing to rent or buy:
2.1.1 for those in housing need with a local connection who have limited or minimal financial resources; and
2.1.2 exempted key workers.
3.1 “Local Connection”
A local connection means having one or more of the following connections the parishes of Midhurst Easebourne, West Lavington, Redford, Bepton, Stedham and Cocking (the “District”):
3.1.1 As a priority, been continuously and permanently resident in the District for at least 5 of the last ten years. Otherwise and at the next level of priority, they shall have been continuously and permanently resident in the District for at least the past two years. In either case, residency should have been out of choice;
3.1.2 A family connection family being defined as the applicant’s natural or adoptive mother, father, son or daughter – who was or has been a permanent resident of the District for a continuous period of not less than 10 years. If this criterion is not fully met then the period may be reduced to 5 years;
3.1.3 Been in continuous permanent (over 16 hours per week) full time employment or self-employment in the District over at least the preceding 2 years
3.2 “Exempted key workers”
Exempted key workers are those individuals considered by the Trust to be essential for the sustainable development of the welfare, health, education and business life of the District and the community. Exempted key workers may be given priority in situations where there is a recognised priority need in employment.
3.3 “Housing Need”
Applicants must be in “housing need”. This means the circumstances where the individual or household is currently occupying accommodation that is substandard or unsuitable for its requirements, causes financial hardship and/or which has an income that is too low either to buy or rent (suitable) accommodation appropriate to their circumstances on the open market. For these purposes:
“Substandard” means accommodation, which is not appropriate from a health or safety perspective, regardless of any particular household’s circumstances. This includes accommodation/property, which is:
3.3.1 structurally unsound, or
3.3.2 in serious disrepair, or
3.3.3 not self-contained, or
3.3.4 suffering from serious dampness or cold or infestation, or
3.3.5 lacking basic amenities, and
“Unsuitable” means accommodation which is not appropriate for day-to-day living taking into account the particular circumstances and reasonable aspirations of the household in question, the broad test of reasonableness being what a mainstream social landlord would expect to provide for the household in question. Relevant considerations include:
3.3.6 excessive costs to the household (including costs of ‘using’ the accommodation, such as heating)
3.3.7 overcrowding, for example where different sex children aged 10 or over have to share a bedroom with a sibling, or where there are more than two children in a bedroom, or where rooms such kitchens and living rooms are used as bedrooms
3.3.8 risk of the household’s occupation of the accommodation being brought to an end without reasonable cause and against their wishes.
3.3.9 not enabling the meeting of the needs of a person with an infirmity, a physical disability or specific social or care needs.
3.4 “Limited or minimal financial resources” include day to day debt obligations because of unexpected events or unforeseen changes that impacts their financial status, for example changes in income or expenditure due to health or domestic relationships and changes in employment status (such as losing a job or having hours reduced).
3.5 “Affordability” The most common way of assessing affordability is via a housing cost to income ratio; i.e. how much of a household’s net income is taken up by their housing costs. As a general rule we will adopt what research suggests i.e. a range from 25% to 35% of gross household income to be the threshold of affordability, above which households are likely to have financial difficulties.
4.1 The Trust or the Trust’s agent will be responsible for lettings. Residents will be tenants of the Trust.
4.2 The Trust or the Trust’s Agent will be responsible for the allocation of property to purchase.
4.3 Residents must be prepared to sign a code of conduct highlighting the behaviour that will be expected concerning payment of rents, maintenance of property and anti – social behaviour.
5.1 The Trust will hold an open meeting 6 months before the expected completion date of the properties to provide information and advice.
5.2 Rented properties will be advertised in ways deemed most appropriate.
5.3 Trust will use local communications to ensure as many local people as possible know about the vacancy and how to apply.
The Trust or the Trust’s Agent will carry out a home visit to verify the information provided by the applicant. All applicants who are being considered for rented housing will be visited and interviewed as part of the allocation process.
7.1 The Trust will use its reasonable endeavours to resolve any issues, complaints or disputes in respect of the operation of this Allocations Plan or any other matter pertaining to this Allocations Plan amicably, through discussion and cooperation.
7.2 Any complaints or matter of dispute involving the Trust’s agent from an applicant or a third party regarding the performance or non-performance of obligations under this Allocations Plan or any other matter pertaining to this Allocations Plan should usually be addressed or referred to the Trust which will be proactive in resolution.
Where a Party changes its name or legal identity but otherwise retains the same function and purpose through succession, all duties and obligations under this Allocation Plan will automatically transfer to the successor.
9.1 This Allocations Plan and its provisions shall only be capable of amendment by a written agreement signed by the Trust.
9.2 The Trust may vary the allocation criteria and process at its discretion.
9.3 If an allocation for housing is granted, it is personal to the applicant and cannot be transferred to anyone else. Consideration to a request for a transfer of the allocation agreement can be made to the Trust but there is no automatic right to grant such a transfer.
10.1 From time to time this allocations policy will be reviewed.