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In my dissertation I explore an ongoing project in Lewisham where the
Community Land Trust and volunteer led organisation (RUSS) is in the process
of building a partially self-built, co-designed housing development of 33 homes
in Lewisham. By measuring the reality of the project as it has unfolded
against the claims made in its vision statement, where a very high degree
of resident involvement and influence is promised, the essay seeks to establish
whether this model is as replicable and empowering as RUSS initially hoped.
I conclude that, while it may have fallen short of some of these aspirations,
the project still represents a hugely exciting step forward. The use of a
Community Land Trust in order to safeguard the affordability of the homes, in
particular, combined with a ‘sweat equity’ model and an exceptional level
of resident consultation truly set this development apart. It certainly offers
a valuable example to those who wish to collectivise and look to one another
rather than rely on solely speculative developers to know what is
best for our city.