RUSS - Lewisham

  • RUSS Community Land Trust is a highly innovative community-led organisation, based in south London. It has over 700 members
  • A long members-led campaign and a successful public procurement process led to RUSS signing a Development Agreement with Lewisham Council in April 2016 for a ‘community-led, affordable, self-build housing development’ in a derelict former school and industrial site at Church Grove in Ladywell, South East London
  • The project will provide 33 new sustainable, customised, high quality homes that are permanently affordable and partly self-built in order to reduce construction costs. The £8.6 million scheme will also design in opportunities for training in construction for self-builders as well as apprentices and volunteers from the wider community
  • The project will contain a range of houses and flats of different tenures, sizes and levels of self-build in order to create a truly mixed community made up of people from diverse backgrounds in the local area
  • The funding model involves shared equity homes cross-subsidising a smaller number for social rent, which RUSS will manage. The CLT is taking all the development risk and has no development partner for the scheme
  • Following the competitive procurement process, Lewisham Council will transfer the land to RUSS on a 250 year lease for £1 with no ground rent payable
  • RUSS anticipates that the self build element of the scheme will generate around £1 million of ‘sweat equity’ leading to significant potential costs savings for future occupants
  • The RUSS scheme is due on site in mid-2018. More detailed information about the organisation and its first project can be found here.
  • A copy of the London Borough of Lewisham’s Mayor and Cabinet report formally approving the RUSS scheme can be found here.


Published in March 2018