As we approach the end of our Share Issue, some thoughts from YorSpace supporter Jane Hustwit.
Last autumn I became preoccupied with Yorspace: why it matters so much; how I could support it; what a positive difference it will make to York - albeit in a small way. Its revolutionary approach to housing development, and its pioneering energy, revived my downcast political spirits. Helping to encourage the 170 investors in the successful community share offer, raising nearly £400,000, was a fine challenge to take on.
Now the festive season is long gone, the snowdrops are shooting through and the community share offer is still open (until 31st January), to build on the momentum of the successful fundraising so far. And I’ve fallen for Yorspace all over again.
Here’s why it seems to sit so well here in York - with potential residents and with investors.
For residents, Yorspace offers:
- Affordable housing, in a city where prices average over £250,000. And it’s secure, long term and high quality
- An environmentally sustainable home, with shared facilities and community decision making
- Community life and connections on the doorstep, alongside the option to pull up the drawbridge and enjoy your own space when you need it For investors, the community share offer provides:
- An ethical investment, with a better rate of return than an ISA
- An opportunity to influence future Yorspace developments, both at Lowfield Green and elsewhere
- The satisfaction of knowing that your money is doing good
This last point is impressive. To be clear, every £1,000 raised makes a real difference to the affordability of Yorspace homes: the more raised through selling community shares, the less needs to be borrowed to develop forever affordable, environmentally sustainable homes. So, an investment directly benefits local people who are currently in precarious, private accommodation.
Not only that, as a sign of the confidence in Yorspace, we have benefited from an investment of £100,000 from the Community Shares Booster Fund.
As for the City of York, Yorspace is supporting the development of a healthy housing market by creating diversity, as well as reducing the loss of young professionals who can’t afford to live and work in the City they call home.
So how can you help?
Yorspace needs all the investment it can get between now and the 31st January. So if you, or anyone you know, has £250 or more to invest in creating forever affordable homes for local people, please show your support by going to the Ethex website.
As one of our lovely investors put it, “Disrupting York’s defective housing market whilst creating sustainable, affordable, community designed homes: a fine combination” (Julia Unwin, ex CEO, JRF).