These are some of the community-led housing groups we are working with. To find out more about any of these groups email BHCLT on admin[at]bhclt.org.uk
Alder Community Housing Project
An emerging local group aiming to help provide affordable housing for adults with a learning disability in Brighton & Hove, to compliment stature or charitable provision, that is currently lacking and not meeting the demand.
We have significant interest from members of the learning disability community and supporters, numbering up to 30; many being parent-carers.
Our approach is to seek to access land and development opportunities to this end, but on a fairly small-scale, to provide inclusive, neuro-diverse communities, either stand-alone or within another community, which may also be inter-generational, and potentially with a shared community building/space. We intend incorporating as a Community Benefit Society, and to work with an RP to access grant funding, and potentially collaborating with other, larger community housing groups…and developers or the local authority on s106 homes that may be on offer.
We are an ‘active’ group under BHCLT and open to new members with an interest in such specialist housing, and in particular people with learning disability.
We have a closed Facebook group: Alder Community Housing Group, which is open by invitation or request. We intend to build a website alongside CBS incorporation, but this is in planning.
Bunker Housing Co-op
A self-build group due to start building their first two homes in Autumn 2018. Bunker is a fully mutual housing co-operative and has been working on developing a model that can be rolled out over several ‘infill’ sites across the city. Bunker aims to enable low-income, self-employed people like themselves to take back control of their housing situation and to build their own beautifully designed, secure and permanently affordable housing.
Bunker is not currently open for new members but if you might be interested in future email bunkerselfbuild[at]gmail.com
Coldean Community Led Development
During the last 9 months Coldean resident Ian Bailey and Dot Kirk of Brighton & Hove Community Land Trust have hosted a number of Have Your Say meetings to find out what ideas local residents have about developing the community. These primarily revolved around the following topics: 1) Community Facilities, 2) Affordable family housing, 3) Protecting and enhancing green spaces, & 4) Improving road safety on Coldean Lane.
There is the potential for the land immediately behind Varley Halls to be obtained for Community Led Development and the Have Your Say meetings have been exploring the potential for a Community Hub building for sports and other uses to be built, along with some genuinely affordable family homes for local people in housing need with a connection to Coldean. Both of these projects would be built to rent and owned by the community to ensure they remain accessible to Coldean and affordable forever. A steering group to take the project forward has been formed from local residents, Bevendean Gymnastics Club and Brighton & Hove Community Land Trust.
This is clearly a project which requires considerable finance, will and effort to take forward but the Have Your Say meetings have demonstrated that there is growing support for the proposals from residents and we are seeking to gain the support of the local authority for this project too. If you have any thoughts or comments about these opportunities then we would love to hear from you. If you would like to find out more information please contact Ian – firstname.lastname@example.org or Dot – email@example.com
Coral Cohousing is a community-led housing group in Brighton & Hove. Our founding group is made up of friends and colleagues; 7 adults and 9 children (babies to teens). We aim to create a replicable model that offers achievable, affordable housing solutions to our society’s urgent environmental and housing issues. Our approach is pragmatic and we are aiming for a 2-3 year time frame. We are looking at both eco retrofit and eco self build options within the city and urban fringe.
Please get in touch if you would like to find out more and join us: aisling.zambon[at]gmail.com
The nub of Nub was the realisation by a group of friends that their housing situations in the city, were, in different ways, unsustainable. Either they had mortgages they could never afford to pay off, or they were stuck in the rental/shared ownership market or couldn’t afford to buy a house to fit their growing families. When founder member, Wendy Pye, came across Brighton & Hove Community Land Trust, Nub was born!
Wendy was joined by Corinna Edwards-Colledge and James Pike as fellow founder members, and the group then grew to 10 (representing 6 households) as friends were invited, based on their drive to help develop a self-build group that will create a sustainable, eco-friendly community that allows everyone to live and thrive in the city for as long as they want to live here. Nub are currently closed to new members but may consider widening their membership in 2019. They are open to working with other established groups if larger plots of land come available.
Out of Town Housing Co-op
We are an established Co-op with a long Brighton history of short life housing and owning our own properties. Over the years we have housed 66 people! We now own a house in Fiveways, and another in Bevendean – housing a total of 15ish people, and 8 various rescue animals. We are proud to be a Radical Routes co-op which has provided us with loans, support, national networking and a political underpinning.
One of our members is on the BHCLT steering group and we have been grateful to receive a grant to enable us to explore converting a garage into a bedroom, therefore being able to house another person.
SEASALT Housing Co-operative
SEASALT Housing Co-operative Limited (South EAst Students Autonomously Living Together) has been set up by a group of students from the University of Sussex with a vision of a student led initiative for affordable housing, democratic living and long term sustainability. We received a grant from BHCLT to pay for a freelance Project Manager to help support the group and help us realise our vision. This has been instrumental in moving the project forward, along with the support and training offered by BHCLT. We are open to student members to join our working group from any Brighton based University. The future of Student Housing is Co-ops!
Selby Housing Coop
We have successfully run the Selby since 2005. It is a fully mutual par co-operative and currently owns a three bedroom house in Brighton which houses two of its members.
We are driven by our collective need for secure, affordable, environmentally sensitive housing with the support of community around us.
We each have a long history of working and living within co-operative structures and with the ongoing support and training offered by the Brighton & Hove Community Land Trust, are enthusiastic to join the growing national movement to design and self-build our own solutions incorporating four low impact houses with communal gardens, play and social space.
We are at the beginning stages of our journey towards building a low-impact community that serves our local community. We would like to build a small number of homes and a community centre in a rural location where residents can share their skills and passions with others, making a positive impact on people’s lives and well-being. We are open to new members and ideas – anyone interested should contact amelia.mustapha[at]smartlondon.org.uk
Sussex Cohousing is a group of people aiming to develop a cohousing project in or near Brighton. We envisage a life-enhancing community with the following characteristics:
- 15-35 households (each with their own front door)
- a mix of flats, small houses and family houses
- collaboratively managed by the residents
- mixed tenure (such as rental / shared ownership / ownership – or equivalent)
- shared resources including a common house for meeting, eating and pastimes
- low environmental impact in construction, energy use and transport
- of benefit to the local community
- as accessible and affordable as is feasible
To find out more about any of these groups email BHCLT on admin[at]bhclt.org.uk
There is a list of more established housing co-operatives in the city here at the Mutual Aid In Sussex (MAIS) website.
In September 2018, three community-led housing groups told us about their journey: