Affordable homes are available at Lowfield Green Apply now

Our plans for Lowfield Green

Our first community share offer raised £420,000, bringing our forever affordable homes a huge step closer.

Our first site at Lowfield Green in York will pioneer an innovative mutual home ownership model that will provide residents with secure equity while guaranteeing permanent affordability.

We have planning approval for nineteen homes and a common house on the site, with our contractor team ready to start building in summer 2020.

Donate to
fairer housing

We want to build on our £420,000 community share offer and fund more community-led developments in York. Your support will help us:

  • Develop new sites
  • Growing our membership
  • Spread the word
Donate now

Live in
fairer housing

As a resident you’ll join an active and supportive community with access to shared facilities as well as your own private, affordable home for life.

  • Sustainably built
  • Priced below market rates
  • Houses & flats available
Learn about Lowfield Green

We’re bringing affordable homes to York

About us

Permanently affordable

The lack of affordable housing in York needs to be tackled urgently. Our new model will create permanently affordable homes which form an essential part of the solution.

Sustainability built in

We’re building high-performance homes designed on passive solar principles and highly insulated, reducing the power they consume and making them cheaper to run.

Homes that are sustainably built

We’re committed to using natural & low carbon building materials, helping to pioneer the shift towards a full decarbonisation of homes and communities.

Built around the needs of people

By embedding fairness and cooperation in all our decision making, we’re creating homes that put community inclusion and cohesion at the heart of their design.

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We’re creating homes that meet the needs of people

Frequently asked questions

Is the development open to buy-to-let investors?

No.

How do I apply for a home?

Express your interest by becoming a YorSpace member, it costs £2 and allows you to join our housing interest register

I'm an investor. How will my share withdrawals work?

Investments can be withdrawn after three years.

We will take applications for withdrawal from 1st to 31st December each year. We will email an application form to every investor ahead of the 1st December every year and make one available on our website for download. Once the application period has closed we will assess the demand for withdrawals and will inform investors within two weeks whether we will repay them in part or in full. Any investor who cannot be paid in full will be prioritized for the remainder of their withdrawal the following year.

All the capital we raise through the share offer will be spent on developing the homes at Lowfield Green. We are able to repay our investors their capital from income generated by residents of Lowfield Green Housing Co-operative. They repay the Lease-Loan agreement on the land at Lowfield Green over approx. 23 years and this allows us to repay our investors.

This means that at the end of each year we will have accrued 5% of the initial capital in repayments and this will be available for investors to withdraw. To increase the amount available for withdrawal each year would mean increasing the payments asked of residents, making them unaffordable. A key plank of maintaining affordability for residents is this slow repayment of share capital to investors.

Therefore we have limited the total amount of capital available each year.

In a scenario where all investors chose to draw out their investment equally each year, withdrawal of all share interest (above capital) would take 33 years to complete with each investor withdrawing 5% of their stake annually.

To help potential investors understand how much they could withdraw per year in this scenario, we've created four forecasts based on different levels of investment. You can view the forecasts here

In reality an individual’s withdrawal rate may vary due to different investors withdrawing their capital at different rates.

Do you have any other sources of money?

We secured grant money to cover the 15% deposit for purchasing the land. Our £420,000 share offer has raised the money to buy the land, cover fees and YorSpace’s development costs during the build phase.

We have also received public sector funding towards professional costs of Lowfield Green from Power to Change and Homes England, and are currently talking to funders about further continuation funding.

An important part of our funding strategy is ongoing donations from members and supporters. This will give us an invaluable fighting fund to continue to explore further developments across the City, and we are already working with City of York Council and other partners to scale up our work.

Once our first development is complete, we’ll have an income stream that enables us to undertake further projects in York.

What are One Planet Living principles?

One Planet Living is a sustainability framework used to design and shape YorSpace homes. It is different from other sustainability frameworks because:

What is mutual home ownership?

Mutual Home Ownership (MHO) is a new form of home ownership with affordability at its heart.

People living in MHO properties pay a deposit and make monthly payments under the terms of a long lease. In making payments, they accrue collective ownership of a cooperative society.

Ownership is long-term and secure. If a resident wishes to leave, their lease and occupancy rights are transferred to a new incoming member, and their accrued equity in the society is returned to them.

By dealing in equity shares rather than ownership, the property is held outside of the market, and the affordability created is recycled from one generation of occupants to the next.

The model creates a new way of owning equity in the value of residential property. Although relatively new, the model is tried and tested.