For the last six years, a number of us from HLBC have been working with others in the neighbourhood on ChaCo – a community-led housing scheme for Chapeltown. The idea is to create a cohousing development – similar to the Lilac project in Bramley, but tailored to the particular needs of this area. Diverse, sustainable, outward-looking and genuinely affordable.

A few weeks ago we took a major step forward – we signed an agreement to buy some land from Leeds City Council.

We’re planning to build 30 homes with a common-house and shared gardens on the recently cleared site at the corner of Roundhay Rd and Barrack Rd. We have strong political support for the scheme and the Council are giving us a 6-month exclusivity deal to give us time to raise the finance. We hope to be moving in by the end of 2018.

Altogether we need to raise £600,000 in short-term loanstock. Each £65,000 we raise will enable us to build another single affordable rented apartment – and each additional £6,500 will ensure it is so energy efficient that even those on low income will never have to worry about fuel poverty.

So we’re currently looking for people or organisations prepared to invest at least £1,000 for 3 years or more. Those with over £20,000 to invest can earn up to 4% interest.

Many people seem to understand what we’re trying to do: so far we’ve had offers of over £400,000.

If you’re looking for a really worthwhile ethical investment that enables a community-led solution to the current housing crisis, please get in touch. You’ll find everything you need to know on our website.