Sustainable Housing Community Norfolk (previously called Tiny House Community Norfolk) has formed to create affordable low impact homes for local people in and around Norwich. Currently with a membership of 7, its members aspire to live simply, sustainably, and in a strong community. They are highly focused on local needs in their community, which includes a strong need for affordable housing, but also includes addressing rural isolation and loneliness, food quality and security, and meeting the challenges of the climate crisis.
Tiny Houses have become a topic of debate in the UK, where national space standards have generally made tiny houses difficult as a solution to the housing crisis, and this isn’t helped by the exploitation of permissive development rights to create incredibly cramped, unhealthy housing by unscrupulous developers.
However, the Tiny Houses Movement is about far more than just living in a small space (typically a ‘tiny home’ is defined as under 500 square feet or 46 m2). Tiny House living is about living an environmentally conscious lifestyle, shared community experiences, affordable and financially prudent living, and a shift away from consumerism-driven mindsets. Sustainable Housing Community Norfolk share the intrinsic values of the international Tiny House movement, and are seeking to create a community that meets these values and desires rather than rigidly stick to a particular floor area that might undermine support for their scheme at planning.
The group are at an early stage in their development but have already begun to reach out to other existing projects across the UK to draw on inspiration, peer support, and learning to help them on their way. With the support of an enabler from Eastern Community Homes, the group are developing their high-level vision to put detail to their aspirations and begin to answer technical questions.
Through a series of on-line workshops, the group are addressing a series of topics including: the development process and routes to completing their own homes; housing need; group decision making and communication; construction methods and self-build; housing tenure and ownership models; financial and business models; and legal structure and incorporation. They have been supported to adopt an initial constitution as an unincorporated association (to be updated later to a more appropriate incorporated form) and are being supported to continue their own research and learning about topics such as environmental sustainability.
Sustainable Housing Community Norfolk are actively seeking partnerships with land owners and potential sites for their community across Norfolk.
Find out more about Ecomotive, who are supporting Sustainable Housing Community Norfolk along with Eastern Community Homes.