Hay Habitat aims to fight the shortage of affordable housing in urban areas and make it possible for participants to self-build affordable, energy sufficient and eco-friendly houses. We believe that designs should be functional and environmentally sustainable therefore we chose straw bale technique. By encouraging communities to build their own houses they will not only meet their housing needs but also develop a capable and motivated team of residents committed to the ecological aims of the project, working and living together in a spirit of community integration.Custom build houses in UK are still considered as exclusive for those with specialist knowledge and money. We want to gather talents from community, learn new skills and construct sustainable, eco-friendly homes at a fraction of the market cost. The idea is firstly to build a ‘community house’ consisting of library, workshop and b&b rooms where people can stay overnight, experience the warmth, followed by CLH.
What we'll deliver:
Why it's a great idea:
Traditional council- community co relation means that people are passive beneficiaries of council’s and housing associations’ projects. In traditional way of public services provision there is no need to take into account community’s environmental and social strengths as things ar delivered to simply compensate some problems. Our approach, the community led housing project simply turns this traditional “top down” approach upside down. In Manchester, there aren’t many guidelines in place how to co-operate with community when all they want is to tackle problem with their own hands, using community strengths and assets. We want people to become involved and empowered with the process. We want them to be part of solution, and we want them to drive development. People’s direct experience should be taken into account- it will provide better insight into real needs. Treating them as partners will build bridges and trust, in long term those cant be overestimated.
Steps to get it done:
Recently a piece of land was identified and we spoke to a planning officer in the council. The officer has asked me to put in a formal proposal. The group is looking at asset transfer of land from the council. The land needs to be big enough for 10 small houses and a community house, and ideally somewhere vaguely in the North Manchester area. The buildings are just the beginning. The ambitions are to build community who would run a social enterprise where they will be learning programmes from the Community House, and offer B&B.
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