There’s been plenty going on behind the scenes at YorSpace. We wanted to share a little bit about what we’ve been up to and ways that you can help guide the future of the CLT.
With a loss of access to the Community Housing Fund, we’ve been exploring various avenues to make the development at Lowfield Green possible and looking at the future of our organisation as a Community Land Trust (CLT).
Earlier this year, YorSpace received funding from UnLtd’s Inclusive Recovery Fund (ICF) that would allow us to pay for consultation from community-led housing experts to help with strategizing and organisational development. The IRF is a partnership between UnLtd and Comic Relief, supported by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) through their Community Match Challenge, part of the Government’s £750 million Coronavirus support package for charities. UnLtd are an organisation that support and fund social entrepreneurs that are driving bold solutions to today’s challenges.
We were awarded funding to develop the following areas:
- Contingency planning and financial and legal remodelling of the Lowfield Green project, to allow access to alternative grant funding.
- Capacity development of YorSpace to develop income streams to help the organisation push its projects further.
- Pre-development work to help kickstart YoCo, looking at models of co-operative ownership and community wealth building to cross subsidise housing development.
Remodelling Lowfield Green
After the loss of the Community Housing Fund, we were looking for alternative streams of funding that could help push Lowfield Green forward. We considered the government’s Affordable Homes Programme (AHP) as a potential opportunity for alternative funding. However, it became clear that we’re currently unable to access this funding with the Mutual Home Ownership (MHO) model. Part of the IRF has allowed us to explore, and ultimately rule out, alternative ownership models and the decision has since been made to stay with MHO as our preferred funding model for Lowfield Green.
Capacity Development and Visioning
The YorSpace team have been working with a range of consultants and experts to help restructure our vision, review our strengths and skills gaps, set realistic targets and activities for achieving them. We want YorSpace to operate in a fair and transparent way with all our members having an equal say in deciding the direction of our organisation. These workshops were the first stage in reshaping our vision, so that we can open the conversation up to our members who we hope will be a key part of the future of YorSpace.
The first workshop was hosted by Paul Kelly a Community Led Homes advisor with 30 years of experience working within community development, housing regeneration and cultural programming. Paul used his diverse experience to advise on potential barriers and challenges that YorSpace may face and strategies for persevering with the vision.
The second workshop was with Steve Hoey from People Powered Homes and focused on using collaboration tools to map out where YorSpace currently sits, and how the vision and mission statement should evolve to reflect where we’re going.
The third workshop was with Catherine Harrington, formerly of the National CLT Network, Catherine’s workshop helped us with further refining our vision and strategy for engaging with stakeholders.
We’ll elaborate on the outcome of these workshops in future blog posts, so keep an eye out and make sure that you are subscribed to our newsletter or following us on your preferred social networks, so you don’t miss it.
As part of our continued involvement with York Central Co-owned (YoCo), we've used part of the IRF to support a programme of creative community outreach. The YoCo team hosted a range of lively and thought-provoking workshops, focussing on working with the local community with the goal of regenerating specific sites in York Central.
Interested in getting involved?
As part of this development work, we’ve been exploring more ways for members to become involved with YorSpace projects and activities If you have an opinion on our vision and work, or you’re interested in joining our Board or delivery team, we’d love to hear from you. Get in touch at email@example.com