Frequently Asked Questions

What is Beer CLT?

Beer CLT is a community organisation that can own houses, shops and facilities or provide services, as long as any asset or service benefits the community.  All assets are owned in perpetuity by the CLT.  It was set up in 2013 with the aim of developing community assets for the benefit of the community, with the highest priority being the development of affordable housing.  The object of the CLT is to provide affordable housing to people with a Beer connection and with a defined housing need.

 

What does "a Beer connection" mean?

It means a person with a connection to Beer demonstrated by one or more of the following categories (in order of priority):

               a)            persons who have been ordinarily resident in Beer for a period of 3 years                                 immediately prior to being offered a home or for a period of 5 years at some time in                           the past

               b)            persons not resident in Beer but either employed in the parish on a permanent                                      basis or self-employed with a permanent work-base in Beer for a continuous period                               of 1 year and for at least 16 hours per week 

               c)            persons who can demonstrate a close family connection, one in which a caring                                     dependency can be identified, to Beer.  A close family connection is one where the                               person’s mother, father, son, daughter or sibling has been ordinarily resident in Beer                               for a continuous period of 5 years immediately prior to the offer of one of the                                      homes.

 

What does "people with a defined housing need" mean?

A person who is part of an existing or newly-forming household who:

               a)            is currently occupying accommodation that is Substandard or Unsuitable for its                                     requirements and

               b)            is an eligible household as prescribed within the definition of affordable housing                    contained in Annex 2 of the National Planning Policy Framework or any other                                        statement or circular which may supersede it and

               c)            has a Beer connection.

 

What does "substandard accommodation" mean?

Accommodation that is not appropriate from a health or safety perspective, regardless of any particular household’s circumstances.  This includes accommodation/property that is:

  • structurally unsound, or

  • in serious disrepair, or

  • not self-contained, or

  • suffering fromserious dampness or cold or infestation, or

  • lacking basic amenities .

 

What does "unsuitable accommodation" mean?

Accommodation that is not appropriate for day-to-day living taking into account the particular circumstances and reasonable aspirations of the household in question, the broad test of reasonableness being what a mainstream social landlord would expect to provide for the household in question.  Relevant considerations include:

  • excessive costs to the household (including costs of ‘using’ the accommodation, such as heating)

  • overcrowding, for example where different-sex children aged 10 or over have to share a bedroom with a sibling, or where there are more than two children in a bedroom, or where rooms such as kitchens and living rooms are used as bedrooms

  • risk of the household’s occupation of the accommodation being brought to an end without reasonable cause and against their wishes

  • not enabling the meeting of the needs of a person with an infirmity, a physical disability or specific social or care needs.

 

How does Beer CLT manage a housing development?

New property is initially developed and owned by Beer CLT.The type of tenure of properties is split between rental versus sale, the percentage depending on previous demand and on East Devon District Council planning requirements.

 

How does Beer CLT sell its properties?

Beer CLT offers properties on the open market, advertising them in Devon Discount Homes as well as locally, and takes into consideration any covenants or restrictions related to the property.The Board of Beer CLT makes the final decision on allocation of property and is not bound to accept the highest offer: its final decision is based on financial return and upholding the principles of community benefit.

 

Does Beer CLT allow Shared Ownership of a CLT property?

More than one occupant can share the ownership of a CLT property, but Beer CLT itself does not share in the ownership of the property.Applicants must be willing to own 100% of the property.

 

How does Beer CLT rent out its properties?

Applicants for a Beer CLT property must first be on the Devon Home Choice list.  East Devon District Council assesses priorities and provides the CLT with a list of qualifying applicants.  The Beer CLT Allocation Board makes the decision on allocating CLT properties, and includes two local members and one member from East Devon District Council.  As properties become available they are re-advertised in Devon Home Choice and locally.

 

Who can be a member of Beer CLT?

Anyone who meets one of the following qualifications:

  • they live and/or work in the parish of Beer, or

  • they own residential property in the parish of Beer, or

  • they have previously lived in the parish of Beer for a minimum of 5 years, or

  • their parents or grandparents live in the parish of Beer and have done so for at least 5 years.

There is a one-time membership fee of £1.00.  Voting decisions are on the basis of one member, one vote.  Every member is a shareholder in Beer CLT Ltd.

 

What is the Board of Beer CLT?

The Board is elected from the members of Beer CLT and also has one co-opted Board member from each of Beer Parish Council, East Devon District Council and Devon County Council.  Board members are elected by the members of Beer CLT at each Annual General Meeting.  The list of Board members at any time is shown in the  Annual Report.

 

What can Beer CLT do?

The CLT develops housing that will be affordable and only available to people with a Beer connection.  Housing will include rental and discount sales.  The CLT could take on a village shop and run it as a community enterprise.  The CLT could develop sheltered housing.  The CLT could provide community services for young or old.  Whatever it does must benefit the community.

 

Why is Beer CLT a Limited Company?

Beer CLT is legally established as a Cooperative & Community Benefit Society.  It has a corporate structure to meet legal requirements as a housing provider and to protect the Board members.  It is a profit-making business and all profits must be invested back into the business.  It does not distribute any profits to members.  It must be financially sound.

 

Where does Beer CLT get its money from to build or buy property?

Funding of Beer CLT is initially based on loans received from the Public Works Loan Board, which is a statutory body operating within the UK Debt Management Office, an executive agency of HM Treasury.  Once it has built or bought property, Beer CLT obtains revenue from the sale of property and from rents paid for its properties.  It also obtains grant funding on a project basis from Homes England, a public body sponsored by the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government,

 

Why should someone become a Member of Beer CLT?
In order to benefit from a Beer CLT property, all applicants must be members of Beer CLT.  Being a member actively demonstrates support for Beer CLT and shows funding agencies that it has the support of the local community behind it.