Waterfall Way Community Land Trust

We are very pleased to share that the Siddle Family Foundation (SFF) has decided to fund our Waterfall Way Community Land Trust (CLT) Establishment Project! As many of you are aware, one of the longest running and significant pieces of work that we have focused on since our inception in 2017 has been the development of a CLT in the Bellingen Shire. Keep scrolling to learn more about our journey to date and proposed next steps

What is a Community Land Trust?

With rising prices, falling home ownership, and growing housing stress, there’s a need to get creative about our housing. That’s where Community Land Trusts (CLTs) can play a role.

A CLT is a form of shared home ownership that is run by and for the community that makes it possible for people on local wages to live and work here. They give residents access to many of the benefits which typify home ownership such as long-term security and greater autonomy in the use of their home. 

Why are we backing the CLT model?

We think the model has the potential to be a game changer both locally and nationally. By taking land off the speculative market, the model keeps housing affordable for current & future generations of local people on local incomes. CLTs already enjoy a solid footprint internationally and have a proven track record in providing long-term, secure, affordable homes for moderate-income households. They have a robust and transparent governance structure that delivers better housing outcomes on behalf of their community. We think it’s a model that our community can get excited about!

Want to know more & get involved?

This page contains loads of resources to help unpack both the CLT model and the Establishment Project. We are keen to build a genuine community-led movement around the need for a CLT locally and you are invited to join us in making a difference. Keep scrolling to see how you can get involved, learn more, and support the project.

Image credit: Ute Shulenberg. HMAG’s CLT announcement, September 2023.

CLT announcement 2023

Community Land Trust Resources

CLT working group2

Join the CLT Working Group

Bellingen & Nambucca Affordable Housing Local Solutions forum 2019

Stay connected and get more info

Bellingen & Nambucca Affordable Housing Local Solutions forum 2019

Support the Project


What is a CLT?

1. CLT Factsheet & FAQs

As explained in this recent article in the Bellingen Shire News, the CLT model is new to most Australians and can be complex to wrap your head around. That’s why we have developed a CLT factsheet and FAQs to help you unpack and engage with the model. For those looking for a deeper dive, we can refer you to the Australian CLT Manual (2013), which addresses the operational, legal and financial issues and decisions facing potential CLTs in the Australian context.  As always, please reach out for additional information.

2. CLT Case Studies

Emerging during the civil rights movement in the American South, CLTs are now a worldwide movement. The model continues to grow as an internationally recognised method of delivering permanently affordable housing in both urban and rural areas. There are over 240 CLTs across the USA, with the largest CLT, Champlain Housing Trust in Burlington, Vermont, owning over 3,000 homes and significant commercial and community facilities. In the UK, there are now over 500 CLT groups delivering affordable housing and facilities for their communities.

What is the Waterfall Way CLT Establishment Project?

1. Project Background

HMAG has been working towards the establishment of a Bellingen Shire CLT since we hosted our first ‘Affordable Housing’ Forum back in 2018. We initially formed a CLT Working Group, which helped us realise that we needed to attract substantial support and resources to make this vision a reality.

Throughout 2019, members of HMAG’s CLT Working Group steadily worked through the contents of the Australian CLT Manual (2013), workshopping through the operational, legal and financial questions contained therein. They were a small group of committed volunteers with big ideas, a vision and significant skills. They believed that big things can happen when committed people work together one step at a time – see their Statement of Intent document here. The CLT Working Group progressed the work as far as they could as a group of passionate residents and volunteers.

Importantly, their advocacy was instrumental in enabling the Mid North Coast Joint Organisation of Councils (MNCJO) to commission a Proof of Concept (PoC) report on the establishment of a CLT in our region. Formally adopted in March 2023, the PoC report is a groundbreaking piece of work that lays out a roadmap for the establishment of a CLT in the Australian context. This is a national first that other groups and communities are utilising in their own contexts. See their full report here. We want to especially thank the Bellingen Shire Council for their leadership in this space.

2. Project Plan – critical path

The release of the MNCJO’s PoC report laid out a roadmap for the establishment of a Bellingen Shire CLT. Our project is about putting this plan into action.  The purpose of the project is to establish the CLT entity and operationalise it to the point of having all of the legal and financial arrangements in place necessary to start developing land and building or acquiring houses. The project is broken into two stages.

  • Stage One – Establishing the CLT Entity – From August 2023 to March 2024.
  • Stage Two – Developing the CLT Model – From April 2024 – December 2024.

For more details, please review the Bellingen Shire CLT Establishment Project’s critical steps

3. Local media

How can I get involved and learn more?

We believe that we can make a difference when we work together as a community. We encourage you to reach out and get involved in the project in whatever way works for you! Keep scrolling to see how you can get involved and/or support the Waterfall Way CLT Establishment Project.

  • Use the link below to join our CLT mailing list
  • Join the CLT Working Group that is open to residents keen to support the project – more info below
  • Connect with us on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn
  • To discuss donating land and/or resources please contact clt@housingmatters.org.au or call 6655 1121 extension 2
  • For further info contact clt@housingmatters.org.au or call 6655 1121 extension 2


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Housing Matters Action Group Incorporated
ABN: 849 860 347 54

Jagun yaam Gumbaynggirrgundi. We acknowledge the Gumbaynggirr people as the traditional custodians of the land on which we live and work, and pay our respects to all Elders and First Peoples past, present and emerging.
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