What We Do

 

The organisation


Beam River CLT is incorporated as a Community Benefit Society registered with the Financial Conducts Authority (FCA). This legal structure means that any benefits, such as assets, grants and/or subsidised land, will be protected in perpetuity for the benefit of the community through the CLT as a legal framework.

How we make decisions


Beam River CLT currently operates a flat organizational structure. It is run and managed by 12 members who are all members of the Management Committee with assigned responsibilities and cross-cutting roles and functions. This organizational form was chosen due to its ability to enhance member participation and inclusiveness in the day-to-day affairs of the CLT. Members will elect and be able to stand for Board positions through a democratic governance system. Our decision making at full membership AGMs will occur via voting - one member one vote.

Our Project


As concerned citizen, we have been discussing various strategies of empowering our community. We are concerned about community well-being now and in the future. The seeming neglect and disconnect of our community members is worrisome. The isolation and lack of integration and exclusion in mainstream society are serious concerns which we can only tackle headlong if members of our community live together and support each other.

We therefore see affordable housing as the key to the multiple-challenges that low-income and disadvantaged, ethnic minority communities are facing in London. We need to provide integrated support for our members. Beyond housing, information, advice and guidance on getting employability skills, especially, green skills would be provided to equip them for the future.

We have engaged with various members of our community, including faith-based organisation leaders. Two such leaders are currently in our core group. We intend to embark on more active mobilisation through churches, mosques, local newspapers and various social media.

While interest has been expressed, the immediate challenge is that of meeting the immediate expectations of our members. They expect that houses are ready for allocation. People are expecting to get details of how soon they can get a home.

Community context through housing survey


We completed an initial housing needs survey to identify the local housing needs of members. The response to this engagement has shown that there is an interest in affordable, eco-friendly and intergenerational homes, which we aim to address. We will keep the survey under review as engagement would be a continuous.

The survey also highlighted that another major challenge experienced by the local community was employment, which we aim to address this through our “support beyond housing” strategy - employability and enterprise development and business advisory programme.

We have great ambitions. To start, we are looking to start with a project of around 15-30 homes. We plan for a mixed tenure development, comprising of intermediate ownership and affordable/socially rented units. We are looking to build primarily 2, 3, and 4 bedroom homes, as we have identified this as being the major identified local housing need

Site
Future Milestones & Aspirations


We are hoping to deliver affordable homes on a site from the London Boroughs of Barking and Dagenham as well as Havering respectively.

Our project aligns with Council’s wider strategic framework:

  • Mentoring, training, apprenticeships, and wider employment benefits - our “support beyond housing” initiative will provide training opportunities to members of the community.
  • Participation and Engagement - the local community will be the drivers of this development.
  • Environmental sustainability - we are interested in ecofriendly homes that align with the challenge of climate change in the built environment sector; recognizing that homes are responsible for 38% of London’s CO2 emission.

Build Stage


Recognising the role homes play in environmental pollution, we are interested in exploring the possibility of building in an eco-friendly way and would consider trying to build to passivhaus standard.

We are open to working with an enabling developer who will build the units as we are aware there may be specialist skills and easier access to finance than we may have ourselves.

We have been considering the possibility of using the construction process as a way to train our members’ construction skills.

The type of homes we desire to build for our members are ‘generational homes’ with the objective of creating an intentional community that would encourage large families living together as a long term social care strategy. Caring for the elderly in their old age is a communal responsibility which our homes would be aimed at achieving.

Rather than the elderly living in empty 3 or 2 bed homes alone at retirement or old age, increasing the size of the home to 4 or 5 beds would enhance communality and reduction of dependence on the state and care homes for support. We believe that communal living with family members would enhance the mental, psychological and quality of life for the elderly. We see housing as a long-term sustainable strategy that would combat the challenge of adult social care and the housing shortage members of the ethnic minority, disadvantaged and low-income community are experiencing.

 

Live Stage

We intend to meet the Council’s framework relating to new homes.

We aim to agree an allocation policy for new homes with our membership and with the council.

We aim to include new homes for households on the housing register and we are open to working with a Registered Housing Providers for these homes.

Future Members and Community Engagement

We currently operate a £1 membership fee and administrative fee of £19 for those joining the organisation. Our members will vote for the board.

Our Community Engagement Strategy

We have begun engaging with our local community in a number of ways:

Firstly, we have conducted a housing needs survey to determine the local housing needs of the community. We are also planning to conduct a skills gap analysis which will allow us to target our “support beyond housing” schemes such that they train and retrain to acquire employability and entrepreneurship development skills of members.

We have also begun work on our website. This will allow us to easily present the CLT’s vision and motivations, with the aim of recruiting more members to join our CLT. We also plan to use the membership survey to grow our membership network in the local community.

Finally, in anticipation of the Barking Riverside Economic Regeneration Programme for East London, we have also begun plans on developing the skills of our members through training and certification in anticipation of the manpower requirements of the project aimed at job creation and sustainable income of our members.