Lowfield Green and Beyond
The past few weeks has been a hive of activity for Yorspace, as we make the transition from planning to delivery. We’re within touching distance of starting on site with 19 homes at Lowfield Green later in 2019, with most of them already allocated. These are exciting times for us, and for York, as this pioneering development, which combines affordability, community and sustainability, takes shape, delivering something truly unique for the City.
We all know the national housing market doesn’t meet the needs of a growing number of people. More locally, a recent study by City of York Council found that there is now no area in York which is affordable for first time buyers. With private rents and the cost of buying homes increasingly out of reach for many, there has never been a more pressing need to offer a radical alternative. Yorspace will create communities for the future, where people of all ages can live alongside each other safe from the risk of losing their homes.
Yorspace is not afraid to be radical: We want to change the way homes are developed in York, creating communities, not just houses. We completely support the City of York Council’s plans to build new council homes for those on the social housing waiting list. Yorspace homes will complement the range of affordable homes on offer, creating opportunities for people who can’t get onto the housing ladder or who want a home that is secure in their later years. We want to offer positive alternatives for people living and working in York, while inspiring other similar developments across the country.
Community, Affordability and Sustainability
Over the next ten years, we want to help develop up to five new co-operative communities to meet the growing need for affordable homes in the long term. All our developments will differ slightly, but all will help build new communities (shared indoor and outdoor space, car sharing and day to day management) living in environmentally sustainable homes which are affordable and secure for life.
These are nice words, but what do they actually mean? Well, we will help build communities by working alongside local people and bringing together ideas about the type of places they want to live. Our experience over the past few years developing Lowfield Green has shown us that people want to live in neighbourhoods where they look out for each other, and can stay into old age. They want to be secure in their homes, without fear of private landlords selling their homes from under them. They want to gel with their neighbours, helping out when they can, with help around when they need it.
We create affordability through taking out developer profit reducing overheads. We can pass these savings on to residents through reduced deposits and monthly payments – on average around 70-80% of market value. These rates remain affordable in perpetuity, rising only with inflation, rather than falling prey to the volatility of the market.
Finally, we create sustainability by designing homes which are low carbon and encourage lifestyles which maximise walking, cycling and public transport, limiting the use of private vehicles. We will also encourage shared use of cars, tools and space to keep day to day life affordable and reduce waste. We support One Planet principles which keep consumption within the planet’s resources.
Our 21st Century Communities
In early September we launched our first Community Share Issue, which will bring in essential funding to secure our first development as well as providing initial funding to explore future developments. We want our homes to be supported by the community, for the community. We want to attract residents who share our vision and are happy to help out running the show on a regular basis: The residents of each co-op will be responsible for day to day maintenance, gardening and management.
Now’s the time to get on board the Yorspace journey!