York could get its first co-operatively owned â€˜permanently affordableâ€™ housing through a new community housing scheme.
YorSpace,Â a community benefit society and community land trust, is raising funds through a community share offer to create 19 homes at Lowfield Green in the York suburb of Acomb.
The land will then be leased to residents via a specially created Mutual Home Ownership Society (MHOS), which will generate income to repay the shares.
Director of YorSpace Imelda Havers said: â€˜There are many exciting features to this project. But raising money in the community for local housing really is a bit radical.
â€˜By investing in YorSpace, local people and businesses will have a stake in future housing provision and can shape the type of homes that the city really needs.â€™
The development, which will be open to people with â€˜strong connectionsâ€™ to the area and in housing need, aims to tackle Yorkâ€™s housing crisis, with many younger families locked out of traditional homeownership.
Residents will have a stake in the whole development as equal shareholders in the co-operative that will own the houses, paying a monthly contribution with any equity only rising with inflation.
Deposits will also be significantly lower at 10% with the value of the homes approximately 80% of an equivalent home.
YorSpace says that the houses will be affordable in perpetuity, as they wonâ€™t be made available on the open market for profit.
The 19 homes will involve a mix of housing from one-bed apartments to four-bed houses to create a community thatâ€™s diverse in age and family size.
Residents will commit to nurturing an active community and will also share communal spaces such as dining and kitchen areas, a laundry room and even cars to promote social cohesion.
The homes themselves at Lowland Green will be built from low carbon, bio-based construction materials, lowering their carbon footprint and making them more energy-efficient to run.
James Newton, fellow director of YorSpace, said: â€˜We believe our community funded, permanently affordable homes using low carbon building materials is a model for the future, and weâ€™re keen to speak to people across the city who would like to find out more.â€™
YorSpace is looking to raise a minimum of Â£375,000 from the share offer with members of the public able to make investments from Â£250 to Â£47,500.
Once Lowfield Green is successfully delivered, YorSpace will look to help facilitate more community-led housing in York.
Photo Credit â€“ YorSpace