East London Community Land Trust

The first urban land trust in London

As the housing prices rise and rise in London’s districts. The East London Community Land Trust (ELCLT) is set out to permanently provide affordable housing to ensure that people are no longer priced out of the neighborhoods they grew up in. Anyone living and working in east London can join the ELCLT which is governed solely by its own members.

The ELCLT came into existence after petitioning, which moved the mayor to give the group 5 acres of land in a derelict psychiatric hospital, in between the Olympics and tech city, situated in an area between two tube stations that was closed off for ten years. The ELCLT is London’s first community land trust. It set foot in the former St Clement’s hospital in Mile End, east London, creating 23 affordable priced flats.

© Andy Worthington

The land they gained through petitioning forms the basis of their trust. It is calculated that in London half of housing prices derive directly from the price of land the house sits on. By owning the land and keeping the ownership in the community, the ELCLT is able to provide affordable housing that can be passed on to future generations. Along with the 23 affordable houses, they have realized two cinemas, a gallery, a community therapy centre and the forest garden.

Becoming a member of the non-profit organization costs £1. This buys you a share in the company, where voting goes on a one member = one vote rule. Being a member enables you to have a say in the community-led design an governance processes.

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