Winter Newsletter

We have had a busy winter season at E16 Community Land Trust, involving lots of exciting progress on our two projects in Custom House and Canning Town. Here are the headlines!


On Thursday 16 November, we gathered at Ascension Church in Newham to reflect on the work we had undertaken in the year, and to plan the year ahead. It was a really great night, with lots of old and new faces!

We heard from Rowan, from Community Led Housing (one of our partner organisations), on the two projects we are planning to develop in E16. Rowan is our project advisor for these schemes.

The first project is a site in Canning Town, in the Hermit Road area, where we are planning to build nine homes that will be community-owned and permanently affordable. We are currently working with Newham council towards the borough’s disposal of this land to the CLT. Rowan told us about some initial designs that have been put together for low-rise family homes with lots of outdoor space, using sustainable materials. We also heard about our second potential site in Custom House, where we are working with council to let us refurbish a derelict building, where there would be flexible community space, a community kitchen, garden, office space and function room.



We also heard from two architects from Citizen Design Bureau, who have done pro bono work for us surveilling the site in Canning Town. We learned that the site is pretty much ready to go in terms of development, with great energy and water connections! There was a lot of buzz in the room during these conversations, and the meeting was filled with much hope and determination for transforming solutions to local housing needs.

At the end of the meeting, we had a discussion with attendees – including CLT members, interested people and CLT board members – about the plans. We had some good chats about different types of tenure (e.g. affordable ownership vs. affordable rent) and about ways that people could get involved with the projects, and take on more official roles in the CLT. There were some really interesting new people in attendance, from town planners to architecture students, and it was great to connect them with older members and supporters of our organisation – including members of PEACH Housing Club, who created the CLT back in 2017! We also welcomed our new Housing Organiser, Faith, whose role is funded by Civic Power Fund.

The AGM was an exciting evening, made possible by members striving for affordable housing and community ownership, and resisting the displacement and fragmentation that unequal regeneration schemes bring about. There was a real sense that we can grasp the future with our own hands!

Welcoming our New Board Secretary

In December, we were delighted to officially welcome Naciimo Cali as our new Secretary of the E16 CLT Board! We met Naciimo at the AGM, where we connected over Naciimo’s passion for co-design, community-led housing, and justice-led architecture. Naciimo has a background in architecture, and also does voluntary work with the charity Shpresa. We are so glad to welcome her!

Progress with the Mayor

In December, E16 CLT had the chance to meet officially with the Mayor of Newham, Rokhsana Fiaz, through our partnership with Newham Citizens. This was a successful meeting, and Mayor Fiaz gave us her enthusiastic support for both our projects.

Mayor Fiaz said that by Christmas, she would officially sign off on us being able to start work on the derelict building. We haven’t received this letter yet, but we have been told it will come through by Friday 23 February – we have lots of people who are really keen to get going and transform the space into a beautiful resource for the community, so we hope this deadline will be met.

On the affordable homes project, the Mayor and the council Planning Officers present at the meeting agreed that we have a viable option to take forward. The Mayor gave Officers the green light to begin drafting a Cabinet report, with the aim of seeking Cabinet approval in Spring 2024.

The Mayor and Officers also gave us the go-ahead to start talking to and working with the local community around our prospective affordable homes site, to demonstrate housing need and collectively shape our plans.

Film Night!

Since we had the green light to talk more specifically about our project with local residents, we took to the streets straight after the festive period to get talking to folks living in the Hermit Road area.

We had some great conversations on the doorstep with people who had lived in the area for years, and people who had just moved there. All of them agreed: the site needed to be brought back to life for the benefit of the community, for generations to come! We also got to invite people to our first open event of 2024: a film night at Canning Town Library.

The night was great fun and there was a fantastic turnout of 20 local residents and community members. We watched part of ‘Homes and Hands’ (2001), an independent documentary made by New Day films about different community land trusts in the USA. This sparked a lot of conversation among attendees about the ways we could succeed with our CLT in Newham.

In smaller groups, people talked about issues that the CLT could help with in E16; the kinds of homes and facilities that people would like to see in the area; and hopes and concerns about the CLT proposals at our two sites.


We had contributions from school students, technical designers, supermarket workers, architects, mums, project managers… there were lots of different people there! And plenty of popcorn and cake to keep us fuelled 😋.

Watch this space for our spring events and activities!