Bringing Affordable Housing to Brighton and Hove!
Brighton & Hove – Bunker Housing Co-operative is running a fundraising campaign to bring more affordable, co-operative homes to Brighton & Hove.
The campaign is running on the Ethex ethical investment platform.
Over the next year, the Co-operative plans to raise up to £450,000 in loan stock. Their first target, which they aim to hit by 31st July, is £150,000 which will enable them to build their next two homes in Hollingdean, Brighton. There will be a 2% return on investment for individuals or organisations who invest for 10 years.
Bunker Housing Co-operative is run by its members – a group of low income Brighton & Hove residents who have come together to build housing for rents they can actually afford. As a co-operative they are both the landlords and tenants of the homes they build. Homes which they then manage together.
Two families set up Bunker Housing Co-operative in 2014 after years of trying to find affordable housing in Brighton & Hove. It is a response to a housing crisis in Brighton & Hove. House prices are out of reach for many and tens of thousands of people are on the social housing waiting list – many for over a decade. New housing is springing up around the city but often this fails to provide the affordable housing that is most needed. Private rented accommodation is the only option for many but is insecure, expensive, and frequently low-quality. The average rent is 68 per cent of the average household income and home ownership is out of reach for many.
In 2020, two of Bunker’s member families moved into the Co-operative’s first two homes, built on land leased from Brighton & Hove City Council (BHCC) on Plumpton Road.
The Co-operative plans to deliver a further 15 homes like these across 4 more sites in Brighton by 2025. To do this they are working with BHCC to maximise the use of available land that is unsuitable for mainstream social housing development (because of its small size or awkward shape) and putting it to use for community owned housing.
All of Bunker’s housing is built using the most environmentally friendly methods available.
Councillor Siriol Hugh-Jones, co-chair of Brighton & Hove City Council’s housing committee, said: “Community led housing plays a really valuable role in contributing to much needed housing for lower-income families and individuals in the city. We’ve worked with Bunker through their pilot project at Plumpton Road and we’re really looking forward to continuing work with them on the development of their next four sites.”
Jelena Richter, Bunker member, said: “Bunker has given me the chance to finally have a stable, long-term home that is comfortable for me and my two young children. I’m so proud to be part of bringing more housing like this to Brighton & Hove, housing that will stay affordable to future generations – it feels really great to be able to take control of my housing in this way and to do it in a way that has as small an impact on the planet as possible.”
Agata Bogacka, Bunker member and co-founder, and Plumpton Road resident said: “We moved into our house in 2020 and it’s been life-changing for our family. We were able to leave our damp, private rented house that was taking up most of our income and we’re now living in a beautiful house that we know we can stay in for as long as we want to. It means we can see a long-term future in the city we love.”
For more information, or to arrange interviews with Bunker members get in touch with Martyn Holmes on 07595591980 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Find out more about the loan stock offer, including a full business plan at www.ethex.org.uk/invest/bunkerhousingcoop