community land trust and homelessness

Discussion in 'Jobs, projects, courses, training, WWOOFing, volun' started by crazyideas, Feb 13, 2013.

  1. crazyideas

    crazyideas Junior Member

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    Hi

    I am putting it out there to anyone who may be interested. I am proposing a simple Idea as a solution to massive problems with land access, equitable housing, sustainable living etc.- things are going very slowly fast.

    In Australia we are undergoing a stagnation and decline in real estate prices, not much action in the sales area and there is hardly any one with spare cash. I believe in the premise of decline- things aren't getting better as far as our dearly beloved economy is going and we have peak oil climate change etc. etc. So, like many of you, I am only interested in living the change, If I try and use gain derived from the economy to buy my way into this I will be treading water at best (like I have in the past). I am pretty fed up with the lack of access to land, especially for those who want to live sustainably etc. Our family are currently putting together a permaculture based market garden based on landshare, but there is nowhere to live at all, we have the land to farm but no home. We have lived in a tent for a long time but the floods wiped us out. We are sort of stealh living in a caravan at the mo, but this could end anytime. We can't get a rental because there are too many applicants and nobody wants to give a lease to crazy community minded farmers like us.

    We have learned a lot and are still learning from this experience. We would be comfortable if we had a spot of land to live on- we don't need power, we can use IBC's for water and I can build a dry composting toilet in a matter of hours. Those cheap solar showers from the camping store work well. From that point we can build better things like rocket stove water heating etc. I have found we don't need heaps of cash, we just need to be allowed somewhere where we can help ourselves. Living is quite easy when all that periphery rubbish is stripped away.

    The Idea I propose is for those who are willing to live basically at the start, it wouldn't be for everyone.

    If ten people got together and could afford to put up one hundred dollars a week, that would put one thousand dollars a week into some sort of trust that would allow us to lease land. It would only suit types who are willing to do it rough at the start (it's not that hard and very liberating!). One thousand dollars is more than enough to lease a fairly big bit of land. As things got rolling we could help each other build humble homes. The go would be to use some sort of centrelink payment as personal income (Iam currently on a NIES scheme for my development of a CSA) We can work the land as a single operation, set up a CSA, HLM etc. and the enterprise will pay for it's own way (and us) in time. Sounds like an unorthodox and feral way to go, I know, but these are hard times getting harder and most of us are living hand to mouth as it is and a lot of us rely on external forces outside of our control for this petty sustinence.

    -Viola! Community Land Trust is born!

    A good example of a farm to lease would be Joel's block up on the plateau- if he was keen on something like that.

    I have next to nothing as I have invested most of my life in learning other skills and the materials required (fencing, animals, shovels, crowbars, tractor etc.) But I am practical and very little to lose and a lot to gain.

    Anyone out there mad enough to do something like this? There are a lot of people who can't sell their land and it is quite a liability for some. A proposal like this could offer an alternative and provide the landowner a cash yield.

    In a falling market we have this opportunity!

    Earnestly,

    Scott Hall
     
  2. matto

    matto Junior Member

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    G'day Scott,

    I agree, alot of land out there to use, with creative lease agreements there is many opprtunities.

    Where is Joel's place, or where did you have in mind?
     
  3. purplepear

    purplepear Junior Member

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    welcome to the forum Scott. I applaude you drive in this regard and have worked with similar goals but for land purchase and not lease. Where you do it is important as ecoharmamark will tell you as regards regulations. Community land trusts are not viable yet in Australia though I believe it is not far away. A social housing mob such as Compass Housing may go for a creative land tenure idea. I look with interest as this develops. Good on ya.
     
  4. crazyideas

    crazyideas Junior Member

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    Hi Guys

    I am in SE Queensland, there is land everywhere, I've seen plenty of acreage blocks even going derelict, but there is no housing- I have even asked some if they would like a caretaker, and put my caravan on, but Nooooo! The market is stagnating badly here now and banks aren't lending. What we could to to add utility to this situation!! It could be a great opportunity.

    Purple Pear, I was thinking of being uber informal about it and not even bothering with regulation etc. Basically just negotiating something with the landowner and getting on the land and start farming it. I think there might be room to sort something out later, particularly when the ag starts to work. I think at the moment one can live in the existing building and then 'caretakers' can occupy other dwellings, particularly if they are transportable. If people quietly lived in caravans etc in the early days, it shouldn't really raise concern, in fact plenty of people do it anyway, just not for the kind of goals we are talking about. I am thinking to that these kind of actions have been the seeds and kickstarters that have paved the way in Europe etc.

    Another thought I had was taking direct action and squatting on crown land etc! This would be an even more desperate situation than I am in now.

    All just thinking exercises for now, but I would like to meet some others who could help develop the idea

    Like I said I can live pretty basic in order to get something going. I am having some interesting discussions with someone about utilizing crown land at the moment (this individual was offered some by the mayor for his project).

    Thanks for thoughts and response
     
  5. purplepear

    purplepear Junior Member

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    uber informal does not lend itself to picking up the family and building a dweling, no matter how humble. Some vague lease could end tragically for some young family and a bit of structure will be needed. In my opinion.
     
  6. crazyideas

    crazyideas Junior Member

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    Hi Purple pear

    I never said anything about a vague lease. You can lease a farm, it is done all the time, this is how I would structure it.

    As far a accom. goes, families all over the world live in humble abodes and build more to it as they get time and money, just because I am a westerner doesn't mean I can't. Right now the opportunity to do this would be a blessing. I come from rural Australia and there are plenty of happy people in buses, caravans etc. there. I was on the fruit picking circuit and families were raised in such humble situations. So were shearers kids.

    I know of a few people who built up their project starting out living in a tent, they went from strength to strength.

    For some of us this humble start is the only choice we have, and it is a lot better than the living conditions we endure now. At the mo we have an old caravan sneaked onto land where we are not allowed to be, we leave early and come back after dark.

    Maybe it is this perception that we can't handle it or it is only for people from poorer countries that disallows us to move ahead with things like this?

    In England families are allowed to put caravans on land and live there, but I do not know where I could put my caravan without the cops chasing me away.

    All I meant by informal was leasing a farm/block and just getting on there with others and doing it, not trying to put a CLT through proper channels and organizing it, it's too slow, costs too much and the result may not be satisfactory, we could have had a lot of work done in that time.

    Did the communities of the sixties and seventies bother with all the red tape? I've seen a couple and they have built reasonable dwellings, they did it rough at the start but they are ok now (they don't function as farms tho, that's the key difference here).

    It can be done with a central communal kitchen, toilets and showers and then live in what you must (reminds me a bit of those who used to camp in the snow in Batlow for the winter pruning, they made some pretty comfy pads using tarpology) A caravan will do us.

    It seems we have all been really well trained by our authorities in this day and age and can't do anything without their permission. The problem is when the system lets you down you are not allowed to help yourself! Well, I believe in self organizing systems and bottom up solutions, and I'm trying to have a crack at it, it's all just ideas now, but I have little other options.

    Sorry If I sound a little over the top and passionate, but shit aint good now and we just need to be given an opportunity to help ourselves, where we are there is nowhere to go and we aren't the only ones. I have met plenty who live in the bush under tarps, trying to keep out of the way of cops. It's a lot like America here.

    Scott
     
  7. ecodharmamark

    ecodharmamark Junior Member

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    G'day Scott

    Welcome to the PRI Forum.

    Firstly, please allow me to add my congratulations about your decision to think differently from the norm.

    Putting 'regulations' aside for a moment, where you plan to do is a vital component of any permaculture design in terms of the overall sustainability (i.e. longevity) of the project.

    Time and time again we encounter folk who have 'had enough of the city' and have made the move 'out bush', only to then very quickly find what they at first thought was 'cheap' land suddenly becomes very expensive when one factors in all of the economic (not to mention time and energy) outlay required in order to live on 'marginal' (i.e. poor soil, reduced rainfall) land somewhat distant (i.e. travel costs) from the nearest primary urban hub.

    Of course, and regardless of what on the surface may appear to be a situation where 'everyone is doing it', eventually you are going to have to apply some sort of regulation to your project in terms of how you use the land, and what you develop upon it. This regulation can be externally-applied, as in the case of "Oh f***, the Council have finally caught onto the fact that we have been living in a tent and shitting in the creek for 6-months, and are now threatening to take us to court". Or, it can be self-applied (Principal 4: Apply Self-regulation and Accept Feedback) very early on in the process, as in "Now, if we do some pre-planning and actually find a block of land where our waste can be safely bio-remediated onsite, in soil that will actually grow food, in a bioregion where there is an acceptable level of rainfall and onsite catchment ability, and where we are within a relatively short bicycle/public transport trip from our nearest urban hub where all of our offsite needs (i.e. medical, cultural, social, economic, political, spiritual, educational, etc.) can be met". What sort of regulation would you prefer?

    A few things to read and ponder upon:

    Zealley (2012) Community Design Template for 25-500 Families

    Alexander et al (1977) A Pattern Language

    Leafe Christian (2003) Creating a Life Together

    Furthermore, you might like to check out the following:

    Permaculture Planning

    Ultimately, any intentional community (IC) that you should wish to build, will only be a strong as the people that build it. As you have so rightfully pointed out, meeting 'some others who could help develop the idea' is where it all starts. I wish you all the very best on your journey.

    Cheerio, Markos
     
  8. purplepear

    purplepear Junior Member

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    I too wish you all the best Scott. My input was only to further the discussion and was not aimed at any negativity.
     
  9. crazyideas

    crazyideas Junior Member

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    Mark, I checked your site out and read links- I think you missed my point- the whole plan is to avoid red tape. I don't mean to offend, sorry.

    Just for the record and to clarify any confusion, I am not in need of a tree change- please don't mix me up with previous experiences.

    There will be no shitting in any creeks.

    I know country pretty well, better than you think it seems.

    I will relate a little of my background; I am from the bush, I am the son of a fifth generation farmer, I have seen people get together and solve their own problems ever since I was a kid. I have seen neighbours (ten kilometre proximity) rally and put out bushfires, my grandfather and my dad built a school for the local kids and the state sent a teacher to board with local families... it goes on.... I was bred this way. My Dad was one of the first conservation farmers in his area thirty years ago. I have been practicing permaculture for about twenty years. I am developing an urban agricultural system at the moment. I also work as a consultant, and yes I have a PDC.

    I will clarify my rough plan, I do apologize if I has been blurred with emotion brought on by my current state;

    Get together 10 of the right people, and I mean right people, I know a few but I'm puttin it out there.

    Lease a farm.

    Farm it, or regenerate it and farm it ( I know how, and if I have any trouble I know where to go. More experience may come with others who may join).

    As far as planning etc goes, we don't need it. I have been on so many places where the harvest and other seasonal jobs bring in well over the amount I am talking about, the accommodation has been basic or BYO, this happens everywhere in rural Australia- and this is the circumvent I am talking about. If I have to I can go to areas I know where the landcare groups will allocate money and the mayor will support it. I will be in these areas this year so I will ask some questions and get together some data.

    Hey, to avoid any confusion let's call it sharefarming with a community bent!

    Just to be clear, this should be done in a sustainable way just like we all know how, we're all permies here right?....

    There will be no shitting in any creeks

    Scott
     
  10. crazyideas

    crazyideas Junior Member

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    Yeah cool purple pear, I find forums a real clunky way to express myself and things take a while to process.
     
  11. ecodharmamark

    ecodharmamark Junior Member

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    G'day Scott

    No offence taken; takes a lot to offend me, and then only ever with regards to my intelligence. Which, of course, has not happened here. Like I said, I applaud your decision to really start thinking about your future.

    Concerning the 'creek-shitting' crack; it's just a metaphor. As such, it was not directed at you personally, or any intentional community that you may be part of in the future. I apologise if I may have offended you in any way.

    Just picking up on two points:

    "Get together 10 of the right people, and I mean right people, I know a few but I'm puttin it out there".

    'Right' being the premium word here. Finding one other with the 'right' passion and understanding can be hard enough; multiples of ten are a veritable rarity. But we have to keep looking, hey?

    "Just to be clear, this should be done in a sustainable way just like we all know how, we're all permies here right?"

    Therein lies the rub. Exactly what is 'a sustainable way'? I understand that you are very familiar with one social model. But will pursuing that one model provide you with the diversity of humanity that you will need in order to succeed? In order for any community to not just survive, but to thrive, it needs a core group of individuals with a diverse range of skills, and most importantly, ideas.

    Anyway, it's your baby, and I certainly don't mean to rain on your party. You asked for input, and I hope that I have been able to positively help in this regard. If you get the chance, read the resources that I have previously linked to. What you are trying to achieve is not new. As my old mentor says: "There are very few original concepts in this world". No use trying to reinvent the wheel, hey? At the very least, try reading Alexander et al. I'm sure you find much in there that resonates.

    Cheerio, Markos
     
  12. Grahame

    Grahame Senior Member

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    Occupy Earth crazyideas? I like it.

    I really like the idea that you can build almost anything from very simple beginnings. That you can build a really productive farm starting with a single bean seed (provided its viable). It's about Constant and Never Ending Improvement, feeding back into the system to build it from the ground up.

    I reckon we must be one of the most over regulated countries in the world, but honestly a lot of those regulations are there to save people from themselves.

    I'm an advocate for Anarchy in the true sense of the word, but I just don't think the majority of people would be able to self-regulate.

    I reckon people should be allowed to do the sort of thing you are talking about, but I also think it would be open slather for all sorts of crimes against the environment. If you decide to do it, I say more power to you as long as you are willing to accept the risks. I reckon you may even get away with it. And when the shit really hits the fan you will be the pioneers of many many such ventures.
     
  13. crazyideas

    crazyideas Junior Member

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    Hi Grahame

    I agree that you're right about it taking the right types etc. but my thoughts are it's about time for us, even if we permies are a big diverse group, because, the people we fear who may send it all to hell are doing it already, all over the shop, on an industrial scale. You just needed a loan in a credit expansion and you could've practically done what you liked. Not only that, there are still so many farmers exiling the topsoil and then there are the agribusinesses.... anyway you get my drift.... The regulations aren't working, just look at cubby station, and any other big farm, the destruction is mind blowing, I've been around these places. I remember once working out at Bourke during a severe dry pinch and I was looking at a paddock of one of the two big interests out there that was 'fallow' (it was too dry to grow cotton on tens of thousands of acres so they left the soil bare instead, seriously), anyway there was a slow motion tornado sucking the topsoil into the sky, it was a red streak going up into the sky for miles! Ha! Then, a fresh came through the Darling and they pumped it out at Bourke and it never got any further! We watched it stop!

    I reckon if people need a yield with minimal capital outlay they will try to do with earth stewardship in mind, otherwise they have no chance, and it is now well proven that it works. It should be in an agreement that the farming practices are understood at the start. Anyone who worships overdrafts, superphosphate and urea wouldn't be into the idea anyway.

    Just need a few who want to put together a permaculture based farm

    Mark, Just need a group who want to farm sustainably together, I know it's hard but that's why I'm puttin it out there, kind of like a community based group but really humble, like no huge assets to go it alone. What other choice do people with little that want to do this sort of thing have? Go and get a loan? Sell their datsun? We live in a time where capital is scarce and everything has a price, if we don't come up with creative solutions, everything will be cornered by the elites and we'll all be bloody serfs! The irony is some of us serfs have the key which is the ability to do things sustainably- which is a function of operating with little capital.

    Times will get tougher and those who hold more debt that equity will be in the majority. Creativity will shine the light on the way out and a better future for our children.

    I really think that pushing CLT's through the current model (you need shitloads of money or access to credit which the banks wont provide due to the nature of the enterprise) and system will result in things at best going just as fast and productive as they are now, and we don't need nana to regulate us when she is too senile to even understand what is going on. With the current rate of displacement she and big brother will be too busy with hungry dogs that no longer want to play.

    Let's have a conversation on how we could do this!!? Otherwise it will get rough.
     
  14. crazyideas

    crazyideas Junior Member

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    Hi everyone, Thank you so much for your input and I would like to apologise for being a bit to bolshevik in my manner.

    I have decided to leave the idea alone for now and get on with more immediate concerns.

    Maybe one day I will revisit the idea, some sort of sharefarming? I realise that words are powerful and that packaging has a huge influence on perception. I will do some investigating in some areas.

    Thanks again everyone for your thoughts, they have been truly helpful.

    Peace

    Scott
     
  15. Grahame

    Grahame Senior Member

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    Your ideas on this have really had me thinking in the last few days crazy ideas. I don't think they are crazy ideas at all. I don't know what Bolshevik means, but i found your manner compelling and actually a bit inspiring. there is definitely something in what you are saying.
     
  16. crazyideas

    crazyideas Junior Member

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    Hi Grahame

    Thanks for your response, I'm glad I struck a chord and your comments have got me thinking now.......occupy earth.....

    I will be looking into this, I have some ideas

    Thanks, you have helped spark something

    Thanks again mate

    Scott

    PS Bolshevik in this context means being pushy and urgent about ones ideals/ideas, like it's time to get on with it. It can mean being blinded by passion where one can't see the point of view of others
     
  17. ecodharmamark

    ecodharmamark Junior Member

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    G'day Scott

    If you thought that was bad, you should see me down at the Beer Hall in Mandala Town, after a bottle (or three) of G's watermelon wine, standing on a soap box in speaker's corner, spittle at the corners of my mouth, Bookchin's finest spraying out over all and sundry...

    Seriously, feel free speak your mind on this or any other matter. If the people think that it's Bolshe, they'll soon let you know.

    If you get a chance, do have a look at Bookchin's work; I think you'll like much of what he had to say.

    Cheerio, Markos
     
  18. CraigMackintosh

    CraigMackintosh *****

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