YorSpace take part in Launch of One Planet York

Womaning the stall

On the 15th June, YorSpace were in the Ron Cooke Hub at the University of York for the One Planet York Launch held by City of York as part of York Festival of Ideas! See here for further details about the event.

One Planet York was launched by new Leader of City of York Council, Cllr David Carr along with Cllr Andrew Waller, City of York’s, Paul McCabe and with a keynote speech from Gary Topp, former Director of Bristol’s Green Capital Partnership – the largest of its type in the world and the UKs first European Green Capital.

One Planet York is a growing partnership of organisations working towards a more sustainable and resilient ‘One Planet’ future. It builds on what the city is already doing and aims to foster greater collaboration to tackle the city’s economic, social and environment challenges.

YorSpace have pledged to support One Planet York and were invited to exhibit as part of a group of York businesses and organisations who are showcasing local leadership across each of the 10 principles of sustainability.

Click the logo for link to find out more.


YorSpace at St Nicks Autumn Fayre 10th October

St Nick's Autumn Fayre

Image courtesy of Lewis Outing.

It was great to meet everybody who came to chat to us at our stall at the St Nicks Autumn Fayre last weekend. We spent the afternoon giving out information about cohousing, talking about Oliver House, discussing our future steps and met new people who became Friends of YorSpace. – Thank you to all for saying hello!

We really enjoyed our day – the St Nicks team did a grand job. There was a real buzz around the event. It was a great afternoon celebrating nature and sustainability. Well done to them.

For details of the annual event please see link.

We will be getting in touch with friends we made on the day soon by which time we hope to be able to give you all an update on progress with City of York Council in finding an alternative site for York’s first cohousing project.

YorSpace Response to the Sale of Oliver House

On Thursday 25th June City of York Council announced their decision to sell Oliver House to McCarthy & Stone.

We take this opportunity to thank everybody who supported our campaign to buy and redevelop Oliver House. It has been an incredible few months and we have been overwhelmed by the kindness, commitment and conviction of those who have supported us, both locally and further afield, by attending our public meetings, signing the online petition, and contacting York councillors and Council Executive members. You are our foundation-stone; we look forward to working with you again in the future.

YorSpace recognise the difficult predicament in which the Council Executive find themselves, subject to substantial budget constraints, and under pressure to deliver ‘best value’ for local residents in their business transactions. We appreciate the motivations behind the decision to sell the site to the highest-bidder. However, we feel that this decision represents a missed opportunity for the new administration to tackle the housing crisis currently affecting York.

We strongly welcome the recommendation from Councillor Chris Steward that City of York Council work closely with YorSpace to identify alternative opportunities for the development of affordable housing, and we look forward to meeting with officers to discuss possible sites.

We look forward to developing a productive dialogue with the Council Executive in order to reexamine the approach currently taken to the disposal of public assets, and to formulate a new Local Housing Plan with Social Value at its core. We hope that in future Council assets will be utilised to create decent, low-cost, sustainable housing much needed by the residents of York.

A full recording of the Decision Session meeting is available to view here. The Oliver House decision is item 12, with coverage starting at 1:53:13. You can register your support for YorSpace by emailing us at yorspacehousing@gmail.com.

City of York Council decision on Oliver House

YorSpace have been informed that the final decision on the disposal of Oliver House is to take place on 25th June, 17.30 hrs at York City Council’s West Offices.

Details of the Council Executive meeting can be found here.

We will be attending and have registered interest to speak in support of our bid for Oliver House.

We are asking our supporters to contact the Executive, by contacting the leaders of the two main parties on the links below, and impress upon them the importance of not-for-profit, community based housing in solving York’s housing problems. To show the Council how much people support, not just YorSpace’s scheme for Oliver House, but a fundamental change in Council policy towards housing and asset disposal.

Currently the Council favours capital value over social value by a factor of 3 to 1. We would like you to call on the Council to create a new policy that values the long term economic, social and community benefits of low cost housing equally to capital value and to prioritise the creation of low cost, not-for-profit, community driven housing when any appropriate council property is being disposed of.

The Council executive is made up of members of both the Conservative and Liberal Democrat party. We ask you to contact the local leaders of both:

Conservative Leader – Chris Steward, twitter: @chrisdsteward email: cllr.csteward@york.gov.uk

Liberal Democrat Leader – Keith Aspden, email:  cllr.kaspden@york.gov.uk

We do not believe that profit driven housing development will solve the city’s urgent and long term housing needs.  We ask that City of York Council work in partnership with community benefit and not-for-profit groups to deliver much needed decent, sustainable, low cost housing.

We thank you for your continued support.

YorSpace team

York’s Housing Crisis – Public Meeting

15:5:20 housing meeting

A public meeting is being held to highlight the lack of affordable housing in York, and suggest ways to tackle the problem.

With recent reports showing that York is the most unaffordable place to buy a home in Yorkshire, John Hocking, Executive Director of the Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust, will outline the scale of the problem for buyers and renters.

Representatives of YorSpace, the community-housing group, will explain their  ideas that could help tackle the problem and spark a discussion about the role the City of York Council can play in facilitating the provision of low cost housing.

York Social hosts the meeting, and Pete Kilbane from the group will call for the planners to prioritise housing that allows communities to flourish. He said

“The Council will come under enormous pressure to sell off its property in the years ahead. We would urge them to hang on to our assets and ensure that they are used for the betterment of our communities”

“If the Council are going to transfer assets then they should do so with organisations that will maximise their social value. So on plots suitable for homes they should work with developers who will provide 100% social housing”

“These are precious belongings for the people of York and we should not just be selling them to the highest bidder, because once they’re gone they are gone forever.”

Mr Kilbane added that the ongoing sale of Oliver House in Bishophill should be stopped and the site restricted for the development of low cost community focussed homes.

Phil Bixby, from the York Environment Forum, will chair the event and contributions from the public will be encouraged in the discussion. The meeting is at 7.30pm, Wednesday 20th May in the Denham Room at the Priory St Centre.