Our plans for Lowfield Green

We have planning approval for nineteen new houses at the Lowfield Green site in York.

Site plans have been developed to meet the needs of residents, including features like shared outdoor space and insulation to the highest standard making the houses affordable and efficient to heat.

An innovative mutual home ownership model will provide residents with secure equity while guaranteeing the houses stay permanently affordable.

Invest in
fairer housing

Our £475,000 community share offer will support development while providing an ethical investment opportunity.

  • Competitive return of 2.5%
  • Withdraw after 3 years
  • Minimum investment £250
Invest in Lowfield Green

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 home for life.

  • Sustainably built
  • Priced below market rates
  • Houses & flats available
Live at 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

How do I invest in YorSpace?

Our share offer is hosted by Ethex, a recognised ethical investment platform, so you can be assured that a trusted third party is holding your money securely.

We advise all potential investors to read our share offer document and business plan, which can be found on the Ethex site.

To invest, head to our page on the Ethex site, and look for the apply for shares button.

How do 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 £475,000 share offer will raise the money to buy the land, cover fees and YorSpace’s development costs during the build phase.

We’ve secured the support of the Booster Programme – funded by Power to Change and run by the Community Shares Unit – meaning up to £100,000 is available to match applications for shares from the public. This means for every pound invested by individuals, another pound will be invested in shares by the Booster Programme, up to a maximum of £100,000.

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

What is the minimum investment amount?

Our minimum investment amount is £250.

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.

Does investing carry risks?

Investments are at risk and people considering investing should read the business plan in full to i) understand these risks and ii) understand the strategies YorSpace have put in place to minimise them. Only by doing so will you be able to determine whether the investment is suitable for you.

Our business plan is available on the Ethex website

Who can invest in YorSpace?

Anyone who wants to be involved in creating community-led, not for profit housing in York can invest.

By investing, you'll become a shareholder member. There is no geographic, income, experience or other types of qualifications necessary to become a shareholder member of YorSpace.

As a Community Benefit Society there is only one type of YorSpace membership and this gives every member equal voting rights. Therefore each shareholder only has one vote regardless of how many community shares they own.