Young leaders from youth organisation The Advocacy Academy were at the forefront of the campaign, alongside leaders from local churches, schools, a synagogue and a mosque. Lambeth Citizens met with Cllr Matthew Bennett, the Cabinet Leader for Housing at the time and discussed with him how a community land trust in the area would help fulfill the urgent need for permanently and genuinely affordable housing in the borough. In March 2017, Citizens invited Cllr Bennett and the Leader of Lambeth Council Lib Peck to a Housing Assembly. After hearing testimonies about how the lack of decent housing was affecting people’s lives, Cllr Peck agreed to work with Citizens to find a community land trust site in Lambeth! The group also took Lambeth councillors on a tour of the St Clements CLT, showing them how London Community Land Trust was already improving lives with well-built, affordable homes; and held an engagement morning in Brixton to explain CLTs to the public and canvass support.
In November 2017, we participated in a Housing Assembly with Deputy Mayor for Housing James Murray, together with Citizens members from across the capital. Alongside demands about renting and about levels of affordable housing on new developments, we asked him to support ‘a presumption in favour of community land trusts on all GLA and TfL owned small sites’ starting with three small TfL sites including Brixton Hill! James Murray said yes.