Appeal to public to help group buy their first home

Fri, 15 Jul 2016

Appeal to public to help group buy their first home
A group of six prospective first-time buyers have formed a housing cooperative, as they appeal for public help to purchase their first home.

The Kindling Housing Cooperative is hoping to receive donations from the public, via a crowdfunding campaign online, in addition to raising £10,000 from investors, who will see a return of as much as 3 per cent if they pledge £5,000 towards the group's first home.

Rising rent costs have caused the members of the group to consider alternative options, but they found a roadblock in the form of a lack of affordable housing in Oxford. The city is the least affordable location in the UK, with property prices being 16 times more than the average earnings of people who live in the city.

33-year old Hannah Smith, a member of the group, said: "The agent I rent through is increasing our rent by £150 per month this year. While rents are rising and house prices in the area shoot up, the co-op model seems like a way forward."

Ms Smith and the group hope to buy a house in east Oxford, and develop an affordable housing model which offers security to members, building up a network of housing cooperatives across Oxford.

Peter Kemp, a professor at the Blavatnik School of Government, said: "It might work well provided the co-op's rules are well structured and the members can successfully find the investors to fund it. By itself it won't tackle the underlying problem of insufficient new housing supply."
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