Co-op sponsors green building programme

The Co-operative Bank is lending its financial muscle to a company which offers affordable, environmentally sound housing.

The bank, which prides itself on its ethics, has teamed up with developer Living Space 21 in a scheme which will see low-carbon houses built which are within reach of first time buyers.

The homes will be made from timer frames using wood from sustainable European forests, with an option to include rain water capture and recycling and passive solar design to make efficient use of natural heating.

In addition to the environmental benefits of this joint venture, the housing will also provide an affordable answer for first time buyers stuck in the rent trap.

Research by the bank suggests that a staggering 92% of potential first time buyers are prevented from getting a footing onto the property ladder due to rising house prices.

It also highlights the fact that the majority of people believe that building more affordable housing is the one key solution to solving some of the problems faced by first time buyers.

These planned studio apartments will be available from just £59,950 excluding land.

The Co-operative bank is providing financial support for the project but would not disclosing the extent of its backing.

"They are self-build homes so there is no limit to the amount that can be built, it will be as many as there is demand for and that land can be found for," a spokesperson for the bank told edie.

Said ethics was at the heart of the Co-operative brand and this was why the bank has chosen to back this building scheme.

"These homes are eco-friendly and also within the price range of most first time buyers.

"We're interested in the eco side plus the affordability and social inclusion."

Ray Bedeman, director of Living Space 21, told edie that an Essex-based housing association was interested in delivering up to 400 of the homes, with other developers also keen to build in bulk.

"When choosing a partner to come on board, The Co-operative Bank was a natural fit for us, as their strong ethical viewpoint, which is backed up by a range of competitive products ensures we can open up ecohousing to the widest possible range of buyers," he said.

"What we're proving is that there is a way of building high quality affordable homes without them having to cost ten times the annual salary of first time buyers."

"It's not sustainable for young people to murder their wages on paying the mortgage and getting into unmanageable debt within the first year."

Sam Bond



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