K1 Co-Housing in Cambridge

17:43 Tuesday 29th November 2011
Drive BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

CHRIS MANN: The new housing initiative known as K1 has been launched in Cambridge today, a scheme in which groups of people wanting new houses get involved in the project right from the very start at the planning stage, so they can help design and shape their new homes. Managing Cambridge K1 is Adam Broadway, the man to explain to us now how it will work, and who it’s for. .. (TAPE)
ADAM BROADWAY: It’s to offer something different, to people who want to own their own home. And the co-housing initiative is very much around allowing people to get in right at the very start of a project, to help conceptualise the vision, help do some initial designs, and help create a community, right from the start, as opposed to what is offered very much today, a for sale team where people buy a product which is already pre-made.
CHRIS MANN: How many people do you need, in order to begin one of these projects? How many co-owners, co-householders do you need?
ADAM BROADWAY: The site we’re looking at at the moment, which is owned by the City Council, Cambridge City Council, is at Orchard Park, and the scheme can take around about 36 to 40 properties. The actual detail of that, we’re working through at the moment. But to get the project going, we’re working with an existing organisation called Enlinca in Cambridge, and the Argyll Cooperative. And we are with them and key people within those organisations, helping to do the initial bit of work. So we put a court in with round about 5 or 6 people, and as we’re now marketing the scheme and getting the name around, we’re getting more and more interest shown from people in Cambridge, who are genuinely keen to participate in this type of housing project.
CHRIS MANN: And what would be the financial threshold for this? What is the minimum amount you’re going to have to pay, or put in?
ADAM BROADWAY: That’s all to be determined. But the crucial thing is that the houses will be bought. People will either have to fund that themselves, or what we’re talking to is a number of key lenders, local lenders, ethical lenders, to see if we can get mortgages put in place at the start of the project. But in terms of the capital cost, the property that will be built will be comparable in purchase price with anything else that’s offered around the city. But it has two other important added advantages. Firstly, they are going to be very energy-efficient homes. So they’ll be much cheaper to run than anything else that’s on the market at the moment. And secondly, the community aspect, which is a crucial part of this concept, they will be buying into. So a lot of the facilities may well be in addition to what they would normally get, if they bought a normal property on the open market.
CHRIS MANN: Sounds interesting. And different. Adam, if people are interested, how should they get in touch with you?
ADAM BROADWAY: We’ve set up a dedicated website called Cambridge K1. If people search for that on the web, you’ll find some relatively key information about the project, and some contact details. Through that website you can contact myself, and we can get involved in the initiative.
CHRIS MANN: Adam Broadway of K1. Thank you very much indeed.