Families move into affordable self-build co-op homes in Brighton

16 July 2020

Families have moved into affordable self-build eco-homes developed by Bunker Housing Co-operative at Plumpton Road in Brighton and supported by Ecology. This is the first sustainable self-build housing co-op development we have helped to fund.

The two families have moved from insecure, damp and expensive private rented accommodation into healthy and affordable housing that they collectively own and control through the pioneering housing co-op.

We provided an interest-only mortgage to fund the build phase and give the families time to move in and be in a position to pay rents to the co-op. The overall mortgage term of 40 years ensures that the project is financially sustainable for current and future members of the co-op.

As well as Ecology, Bunker worked with a network of organisations and individuals to bring the scheme to fruition including the city council and Brighton and Hove Community Land Trust and other community housing enablers.

The two super insulated wooden 3-bedroom eco homes were built using a modular system of cross laminated timber panels on an ex garage site leased from Brighton and Hove City Council and provide a safe and economically secure environment for the families.

Bunker’s membership is made up of local people in housing need with an emphasis on self-employed working families such as trades people, artists and freelancers. The co-op manages the homes which are remaining as permanently affordable rental properties. The homes will be available to households on the housing register via membership of the co-op and the rent will be well below the usual market level in the area.

Jon Lee, who leads Ecology’s support for community housing explains why we supported the innovative scheme,

“We were excited when Bunker approached us about this – our first new self-build project run by a housing co-op, and using a modular offsite construction method, too!

“We love supporting ground-breaking sustainable projects like this. It hasn’t always been straightforward, but thanks to the tenacity and energy of the team at Bunker and the support of Brighton and Hove CLT and the city council, we are proud to have played our part in helping to realise their vision and create affordable, comfortable homes for their members for many years to come.”

Bunker is currently aiming to build a further 15 homes throughout Brighton as part of the co-op’s vision to build ‘high quality homes for low income people’.

Find out more about Bunker Housing Co-operative’s affordable self-build homes here.