Brighton and Hove housing co-op is raising funds to build affordable housing

The member owned co-op is halfway to reaching its first target

By Alice Toomer-McAlpine,

A housing co-op in Brighton and Hove is fundraising money to build its next two affordable homes.

Bunker Housing Co-op is running the campaign on ethical investment platform Ethex, and aims to raise up to £450,000 in loan stock over the next year.

The member-run co-op wants to raise its first £150,000 by the end of July in order to build its first two homes in Hollingdean, Brighton. So far the campaign has raised over £87,000.

Set up as a response to the housing crisis in Brighton and Hove, Bunker was set up by two families in 2014. They had struggled to find affordable housing in the area, where the average rent is 68% of the average household income, putting home ownership out of reach for many.

It currently manages two homes, built using environmentally friendly methods,  on land leased from Brighton & Hove City Council (BHCC), and plans to deliver another 15 homes by 2025, working in partnership with BHCC to find suitable land.

Cllr 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.”

Bunker member, Jelena Richter, said the co-op 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, co-founder and 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.”

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