Affordable homes are available at Lowfield Green Apply now

Life at Lowfield Green

Lowfield Green aims to create a strong community of people interested in finding a solution to the problems of traditional housing models.

Communal features of Lowfield Green

  • Communal outdoor space and gardens
  • Plenty of secure cycle parking
  • Common house for resident shared meals and activities
  • Car, workshop, shed and tool share

Who's Lowfield Green for?

  • People interested in new ways of living that create strong communities
  • York connection, especially Y024
  • First time buyers, people in need of a larger home or those looking to downsize
Images by Movizuals visualisation studio. Download images

Housing with sustainability & affordability at its heart

Our houses are built along One Planet Living principles, meaning that while they’ll meet the needs of the people who live there, they also use resources in a way that our planet can sustain.

And unlike most houses, the homes we’re creating won’t ever be sold on the open market for quick profit. Residents will be shareholding members of the cooperative that owns the houses, paying a deposit and monthly contributions to give them security and equity.

Comparing costs

House prices for Lowfield Green are significantly reduced compared to similar-sized properties sold on the open market, resulting in a substantial increase in affordability.

Market valueYorSpace equity value
1 bed flat£135,000£102,090
2 bed flat£160,000£125,240
2 bed house£200,000£142,080
3 bed house£250,000£159,970
4 bed house£300,000£228,380
See a full breakdown in our cost comparison table.
Plans for the Lowfield Green site. Download these plans

Timeline

  1. March 2019 - planning approved
  2. May 2019 - applications for residents open
  3. September 2019 - share offer launch
  4. January 2020 – share offer end
  5. May 2020 begin build
  6. Spring 2021 – completion & move in

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Investments can be withdrawn after three years.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.