Redbridge & Ilford Citizens alliance delighted by affordable housing allocation in Hyleford School site development

Old Hyleford School site

The Redbridge & Ilford Citizens Alliance is delighted that 21 affordable CLT homes have been included in the plans to redevelop the old Hyleford School site off Loxford Lane. - Credit: Google

The Redbridge & Ilford Citizens alliance has expressed its delight after 21 affordable Community Land Trust (CLT) homes were included in development plans for the former Hyleford School site. 

As reported by the Recorder on December 18, the council's planning committee granted plans to build 159 homes on the site just off Loxford Lane. 

Part of that application includes 21 CLT homes, to be run by a trust that is specifically designed to ensure affordability - both now and in the future. The price of these units will be based on the principle that a person's home should cost no more than a third of their income. 

Though elements of the scheme have been criticised, the promise to build these homes has buoyed the alliance. 

One of its organisers, Samantha Nakirya, said: “I hope this is the beginning of helping the council to provide more affordable homes in our borough, using the Community Land Trust model."

The inclusion of this quota was cited in the meeting as one of the reasons why the overall affordable housing offering could not exceed 35 per cent.

Notwithstanding this, the award is seen as a huge boost. It comes as no accident; rather it's the product of a six-year long campaign by the alliance.

Redbridge & Ilford Citizens Alliance.

The Redbridge & Ilford Citizens Alliance. - Credit: Emmanuel Gotora

Member Bernadette Harris explained: "It started with a Redbridge & Ilford Citizens listening campaign where we discovered that affordable housing was the key issue for Redbridge residents.

"We then looked for potential sited, built relationships with local residents, organised our institutions to lobby the council. At the 2014 local election accountability assembly cross party local election candidates committed to explore CLT’s homes with us.

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"In August 2015, Redbridge Fairness Commission recommended 'Redbridge Council should identify at least two parcels of land for large scale Community Land Trust Homes'."

Fast-forward five years and 21 CLT homes have been signed off. 

This, for Bernadette, shows "what we as a community are capable of when we truly work together".

Redbridge & Ilford Citizens - made up of 10 local groups - is part of Citizens UK, a community organising charity that works with 250 London institutions to tackle unaffordable housing.