An affordable, secure home is something that can seem out of reach for too low income many families in Brighton & Hove. But Bunker Housing Co-operative is making that dream a reality as it starts building its first two houses, in East Brighton. Bunker celebrated on Saturday 8 December, alongside its investors and supporters and members of Brighton & Hove Community Land Trust (BHCLT).
Bunker members are self-building their houses, with the help of architects, and other construction professionals. They are using a modular system and a CLT (Cross Laminated Timber) super structure. Run as a co-operative, the rent will be just £1,000 a month, per three bedroomed family home. The co-operative will own the houses, which will be on a site leased from Brighton & Hove City Council (BHCC). Any residents will be members of the co-op and both landlords and tenants.
Watch this short video for more on the Bunker story
Martyn Holmes and his partner Agata Bogacka, who live in Brighton with their children, co-founded Bunker with another family in 2014. They had spent five years trying to find ways to secure affordable housing in the city. The idea developed as they chatted with their neighbours over the garden fence. Living in damp, cramped and overpriced private rented accommodation, both families, despite working full time, were struggling and fed up with their housing situation.
We are encouraging people who support projects like Bunker to join the local Self-build and Custom Housebuilding Register with Brighton & Hove City Council (BHCC). Registering is a good way of improving the chances for Brighton residents to self/custom build their own homes. Right To Build legislation places a duty on local authorities to grant sufficient development permissions for serviced building plots to meet demand on a rolling three-year basis. Registration for the Brighton & Hove Self-build and Custom Housebuilding Register can be done easily via the BHCC website.
Bunker, whose members are low income, mostly self-employed people in Brighton & Hove hope to start work on a second site in the next 12 months, in order to expand their project and house more of their members, all of whom are currently living in private rented accommodation.