Sustainable Housing for Inclusive and Cohesive Cities (SHICC).

Financed by Interreg North-West Europe (total budget : € 3,8 millions , European financing : € 2,26 millon)

The Sustainable Housing for Inclusive and Cohesive Cities (SHICC) is a four-year European project (Sept. 2017-Sept. 2021). It was created out of determination to address the growing housing affordability crisis in urban areas of the North-West region of Europe (NWE) by supporting the establishment of successful Community Land Trusts (CLT).The programme operates through collaborative effort by the City of Lille and its OFS (OFSML, France), the National CLT Network (England and Wales), the Global Fund for Cities Development (FMDV, France), and the London, Brussels and Ghent pilot Community Land Trusts. Recently, new partners have joined the project in order to maximise its impacts throughout the final year of implementation: And the People9 (Netherlands), Self-Organised Architecture (SOA, Ireland), the Institute for Creative Sustainability10 (id22, Germany) and the Dumfries and Galloway Small Communities Housing Trust11 (DGSCHT, UK).

The  SHICC project  has  been  built  around  three  objectives:

  1. Recognition   of   the   legitimacy   of   the   model   as   a   mainstream option for housing supply and urban renewal
  2. Establishment of a financial and legislative environment   conducive   to   the   establishment   and   expansion of CLT
  3. The  development  of  a  structured  CLT  movement in  Europe  through  capacity  building  of  existing  and  emerging initiatives

The project is structured around six work streams. Over the past three years, SHICC activities have resulted in the following:

  • The establishment and strengthening of four pilot CLT in three countries: London CLT in the UK, CLT Ghent and CLT Brussels in Belgium and the Organisme de Foncier Solidaire de la Métropole Lilloise (OFSML) in France. This has helped prove the case that CLT can be a viable option to supply affordable housing.
  • The implementation of further capacity-building activities, such as six peer-to-peer events, 280 hours spent mentoring nascent CLT and the running of an online forum to share resources. These tools helped support nascent initiatives and cross-seed experimentations.
  • The implementation of a transnational start-up fund to support 33 nascent CLT groups across the region. The fund provides technical expertise and support for shifting from an initial idea to developing an actual project (e.g. development of a contextualised business model and legal incorporation).
  • A joint understanding of CLT financial environments, through the publication of research studies on CLT financial models including: mapping of more than 600 financial sources available for CLT, six in-depth case studies analysing CLT economic models and a Financial Guide that sheds light on 15 inspiring financial instruments that have proven efficient in supporting CLT across the region. This work has led to the creation of a specific Working Group on Collaborative Housing Finance, which includes stakeholders interested in developing a strategy to channel funding at a European level.
  • Extensive advocacy and campaigning activities at the local, national and European levels, which have included the implementation of a Social Impact Framework, a local advocacy toolkit, an EU manifesto and the signing of a commitment letter by the Mayors of Ghent, London, Brussels and Lille.
  • Finally, a communication strategy including monthly updates, quarterly newsletters and three transnational events has helped to bring a community together and foster a European movement towards change. The material produced throughout this period is freely available and is shown at the end of this report in the “useful resources” section. More activities are planned for the programme’s final year: the scaling up of the four initial CLT pilots, the expansion of the European CLT Network – notably in the Netherlands, Germany, Scotland and Ireland – and the strengthening of the financial environment of these CLT through the creation of suitable and shared financing mechanisms. The long-term effects of the project will ultimately lead to 500 urban CLT, 7,000 urban CLT homes delivered, and 21,000 people housed.