LILAC means Low Impact Living Affordable Community. It is a member-led, not-for-profit Cooperative Society registered with Financial Services Authority. They are building a community of twenty beautiful homes in Bramley, west Leeds on an old school site. Their community will include a mix of one and two bed flats and three and four bed houses. Most will have private gardens, and the upper flats will have balconies. The homes will be self contained with kitchens, bathrooms and living space, and finished to a very high standard. A common house will form the heart of the community, offering shared facilities.
There are three principles which are at the heart of LILAC
LILAC is committed to tackling climate change and reducing the environmental impact of our neighbourhood. We are using a system called ModCell® to build super-insulated houses to the highest ecological standards using straw and timber. But Low Impact Living means more to us than buildings. We aim to reduce the overall ecological footprint of the neighbourhood through positively changing the way the
residents live and use energy, and interact in the community. The shared facilities in the common house will also reduce energy use and save money for residents.
Buying a house has become almost out of reach for most people over the last decade. In response LILAC is pioneering a new affordability model in the form of a Mutual Home Ownership Society (MHOS) which is an equity based leaseholder scheme. An MHOS will ensure that the cost of the homes remains permanently affordable and doesn’t follow the extremes of the housing market. The cost of the project is divided into equity shares. These are owned by members and financed by the payments members make each month, which is equivalent to 35% of their net household income. After some deductions, members can take their equity with them on leaving. A financial assessment and payment of a deposit is needed to join the Society.
LILAC is a pioneer of co-housing design principles, an established way of building communities that is member-led, responds to local needs and promotesinteraction, well-being, safety and support between neighbours. The design of LILAC mixes private dwellings and shared facilities. The common house will include shared facilities like kitchen and dining area, laundry, multi-purpose room, guest room and workshop. The site design is based around a car-free home zone, communal gardens, beautiful green spaces, areas for growing food and ample cycle storage. There will be limited on-site parking.