Save Public Land

We recently launched our public land map, which helps to expose the government’s under-the-radar land sale. Today we want to talk about something more positive: the alternative to public land sales. Across the country, community groups have sprung up to take control of housing in their local area. As well as challenging land sales, these groups are putting forward their own development plans and working to build community-led housing on public land.

In North London, StART Haringey aims to build 800 homes on a former hospital site, three quarters of which will be genuinely affordable to local residents. The campaign was prompted by anger over the original developer’s plans for the site, which contained just 14% affordable homes. NEF has been working to support StART Haringey in its bid to acquire and develop the site, and build genuinely affordable homes.

Seb, Tony and Paula from StART explain how the campaign started, and what they hope to achieve:

As the campaigners explain, the benefits of community-led projects like theirs are not limited to affordable housing, but extend to wider social benefits. In StART Haringey’s case that includes preserving green spaces and keeping allotments that are shared with the local hospital. But putting communities in charge of local development can have positive effects even before building begins. Seb, Tony and Paula describe how the campaign has brought their community together:

Community-led housing is a credible, people-powered alternative to speculative, private developer-driven housing development. But with every public land sale, the opportunities for this are reduced. That’s why NEF is working hard with groups across the country to make the economic and social case for community-led housing on public land. As well as stopping land sales, we want to help community-led housing groups make the best case possible for putting communities in control.

Seb, Tony and Paula explain how NEF’s work has helped StART Haringey build its case:

A huge thank you to the Nationwide Foundation for supporting the set-up of our public land map, and supporting our economic work on community-led housing, and to the Tudor Trust for helping us work on-the-ground with many more community-led housing groups like StART across the country. Many thanks too to all of our supporters who have generously donated to our work on public land and community housing.