US land trust pioneer Greg Rosenberg backs London 2012 legacy

One of America’s leading pioneers of community land trust housing arrives in London’s East End tomorrow night (Thurs) for a public meeting on the legacy of London 2012.

Greg Rosenberg, who founded the Troy Gardens land trust in Wisconsin, throws light on what “a truly sustainable and affordable” legacy of the Olympic site should look like.

He has been invited by the East London Community Land Trust, which recently won the bid to develop the historic St Clement’s hospital site in Mile End, less than two miles from the Olympic Park, to address the meeting at Mile End’s Epainos Ministries New Testament Church in Lichfield Road at 7.30pm.

“We kind of think of Greg as part of Team USA’s legacy effort,” said St Clement’s project director Dave Smith. “He’s sure to challenge mainstream opinion about what ‘affordable’ and ‘sustainable’ really mean.”

The East London trust, set up by the London Citizens’ community network, is the UK’s first urban housing project of its kind which retains land ownership at St Clement’s for future generations while the property on it is sold for a-quarter of the market price.

London Citizens founder and organiser Neil Jameson said: “The Legacy of London 2012 is where the real gold lies for the East End. We need to be proud not just for a few weeks of sport, but for decades to come.”

The idea of land trust housing was first pioneered in the USA by anti-slavery and civil rights groups.

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The campaign for a land trust in London began 10 years ago to meet the growing housing shortage. St Clement’s is the first to get the go-ahead, while more are promised in the legacy of the 2012 Games.