Locally based, community-led housing groups can play an important role in solving England’s deep-seated and long-running housing crisis
One Planet Affordable Living
A multiple crisis in housing
The UK is facing an affordable housing crisis, with the prospect of buying a first home increasingly out of reach, compounded by increasing in-work and fuel poverty.
Linked to this is a crisis of sustainability: buildings account for 40% of the UK’s carbon emissions, and yet our homes are among the least energy-efficient in Europe. At the same time, most new homes aren’t designed to encourage more sustainable lifestyles.
Why One Planet Affordable Living can help
One Planet Affordable Living (OPAL) helps community-led housing groups vision, plan and build sustainable and affordable homes.
OPAL works with community-led housing groups during four stages of activity:
- Vision: What do you want your housing scheme to achieve? Using the One Planet Living framework, we help you shape an ambitious but achievable vision for your project and equip you with the skills and tools you need to get it off the ground
- Plan: We help you prepare a development brief for your project and identify sites for your community. We help you to prioritise your decision-making, support you to work with professionals and guide you through the planning process
- Build: We support you as your homes are being built to ensure that the objectives of your project are delivered during the construction phase
- Live: We help you to develop management and governance systems, so you can live together as a successful community-led housing group.
The research behind OPAL
Working in partnership with Oxford-based architecture and design collective Transition by Design, Bioregional ran a two-year action research project to develop a community-led approach to housing delivery that brings together One Planet Living – our framework to achieve true sustainability – and affordable tenure models.
The project, supported by the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, builds on existing research we carried out with Transition by Design to develop an alternative housing approach that would be replicable across the UK.