Value Structures offers an agile, flexible strategy to deliver permanent, sustainable, affordable housing in South-East London.
A core group of passionate South East Londoners has formed this community-owned co-housing co-operative, which will develop residential property for lifelong living under an innovative, hybrid private- and social-ownership model, enabling single people and families who currently face financial exclusion from the housing market to own a majority stake in their homes. Working with Hackney Co-operative Developments and Co-operatives UK, we have registered Value Structures as a Community Benefit Society.
Our model replaces the landlord system with a community of land stewards. Members of Value Structures will be empowered to co-design and construct small-scale, ultra-efficient, eco-friendly, multi-family homes with shared resources. Leaseholds will be available for purchase at around development cost, 70% of market value, and held in covenant at 70% of market value in perpetuity. Utilising existing shared-ownership models, the rent for the non-owned equity will be subject to the same market value ratio. The freehold will be owned by Value Structures, the community-focused hub from which all properties are managed by its members, the homeowners.
Members will be advised and supported throughout, in order to grow their proportion of ownership. Savings to enable this will be supported through controlled rent on the non-owned equity, commonly owned facilities and utilities, and renewable energy generation, all reducing household spending.
Our small-scale solution – modest, yet fundamentally scalable – takes advantage of previously untapped sites and opportunities to provide affordable home ownership in high-demand areas almost by stealth. The true innovation comes in working within the structure of the private housing market to turn some of the problems it causes into assets. Our members will invest in their homes and see their value rise or fall with the market, although all sales will be subject to the same 70% discount on market value.
Utilising multiple small sites is a perfect strategy for an urban region that alternates between affluent areas and population-dense estates. It will also allow us to build up an asset base incrementally, which is fully protected in community ownership by an asset lock.
The long-term impacts of our model will be:
- Enabling home ownership, supporting individuals and communities against instability and transience.
- Providing stewardship of asset-locked land, guaranteeing the long-term provision of affordable housing stock
- Providing housing based on environmental sustainability, and improving the urban environment by enabling the community to work with architects on their vision for local regeneration