‘Lilac’ stands for ‘Low Impact Living Affordable Community’. The objective of the project was to design and deliver a replicable model of affordable, environmentally sustainable housing. Lilac aims for its houses to be carbon negative, meaning they generate more energy than they use. The houses have solar roofs and are super insulated. They are constructed from natural materials (straw, timber and lime). Lilac is the first development of any scale in the UK to use strawbale construction.
Lilac’s unique financing model (called The Mutual Home Ownership Society (MHOS)) ensures its affordability for people on low or variable incomes who would not otherwise be able to access the housing market. Members of Lilac pay their housing costs through the purchase of equity units. Every member pays around 35% of their monthly net income, and the income from these payments pays off the mortgage that financed the land and development costs. In addition, Lilac has chosen to detach the value of the equity units from the property value, removing the possibility of speculative investment. Instead, the value of Lilac equity units are linked to earnings ensuring they remain affordable in perpetuity.
Lilac has created a new community. It embraces the concept of living sustainably and communally. Members of Lilac have their own individual homes but share financial responsibility, the land, the development and day to day management of the project. This supports greater resilience and provides permanently affordable housing. The site is intentionally designed to encourage interaction. Members all participate in one of eight management teams (called task teams) that run the site, provide social events with the neighbouring communities and offer training to emerging projects that are interested in replicating features of Lilac.
Much more information is available on our website. go to the LILAC website.
For £5 you can become a friend of LILAC”.
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But the best way to stay updated is from our Twitter account and Facebook Group.
We have shared meals and annual events such as Burns Night; folk nights & clothing swaps (see our website and facbook group); we are used as a polling station; landscape days, which are sometimes open to the wider community; and we host learning days.