BHCLT is issuing community shares to raise capital that will enable it to purchase its first property, which will be leased to one of BHCLT's community-led housing groups: SEASALT, a student housing co-operative. The Society's long-term aim is to mobilise community investment in housing across the city to support its different community-led housing groups and projects to create homes that are secure and of community benefit forever.
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BHCLT is a young organisation with a big vision and has achieved a lot over the past two years:
BHCLT have supported Bunker Housing Co-op to start construction on their first two self-build homes for low-income families and supported the set-up of the first student housing coop in the city – SEASALT student housing coop, offering a radical alternative to student housing choices in the city.
Sussex Homeless Support (SHS) is a charity who provide support, advice, accommodation and outreach to people in housing crisis. They run soup kitchens, organise food and clothes donations and have converted two double-decker buses on the seafront to provide overnight refuges for rough sleepers. Their new project aims to unblock the path between living on the streets and moving into decent rented accommodation, through the design and development of self-build temporary residential pods. These will provide an alternative to expensive and often unsuitable emergency accommodation, giving people the opportunity to re-adjust to life off the streets and start rebuilding their lives, including taking part in building these pod solutions.
SHS are currently building their first prototype pod. Once the prototype is finished, it will be installed on a University of Brighton site for evaluation and testing. In the meantime, they are exploring different options for sites for meanwhile use across the city. No more than 6 pods will be housed on any one site, to help integration into the community.
BHCLT also hosts the Brighton & Hove Community-led Housing Hub. The Hub operates to enable and support community-led housing groups to progress their schemes, to raise awareness about community-led approaches, to facilitate knowledge exchange and mutual support and to build the movement for community-led housing. Currently the Hub is funded for 18 months by the Community Housing fund. BHCLT future plans are for Hub to be self-sustaining, funded through a combination of (reduced) funding, charging groups for services provided and on an agreed solidarity contribution, given by groups on completion of their projects
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