Viva! Affordability paper

One of the core tenets of The Viva! Project is housing affordability.  With housing availability and house prices reaching crisis point, especially in Christchurch, there is a need for systemic changes in the way we build and renew our housing stock. A wide swathe of issues need to be researched and discussed, encompassing strategies to reduce costs of land, financing, development overheads, construction, household operation and maintenance.

See our overview of the issues in our new Affordability Paper (also available under the Resources heading above).

We will continue to investigate the issue of building costs and use this resource as a knowledge repository.  We’ll keep you posted on updates.

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Hat-trick for LILAC – cheap, green, co-living

LILAC is an inspirational affordable co-housing development in Leeds in the UK.  LILAC stands for Low-Impact Living Affordable Community and it combines low-impact eco housing with affordability and co-housing, possibly one of the first in the world to encompass all of those aspects at the same time.

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See more on their website:  http://www.lilac.coop/

Paul Chatterton from the School of Geography at the University of Leeds presented their story in this TEDx talk.  The story of dogged determination and persistence is very similar to that of the Earthsong co-housing development in Auckland.

Paul describes an ownership model proportional to income which would have a major impact on housing affordability and social housing.

The buildings are built with high levels of insulation and air-tightness along with proper mechanical ventilation with heat recovery (similar to the Passive House approach) resulting in very high thermal efficiency.

Insulation is provided by straw bales, using ModCell‘s innovative modular system.  The system has the advantage of low-, or negative-, carbon construction, yet forms very linear walls indistinguishable from any other modern construction method.

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