The Sustainable Housing (SH) project ran from October 2011 – March 2014, backed by Action for Sustainable Living, an environmental charity based in Manchester, UK. The project was an experiment in urban sustainable living – focusing on all aspects of domestic living from clothing, energy, finance, gardening, household cleaning and decorating, to food, recycling, transport and use of water. On the run up to launch and dubbed ‘The Good Life’ by local media, SH had articles published in the South Manchester Reporter, Manchester Evening News and Manchester Climate Fortnightly.
This project not only inspired local residents of Manchester but also was showcased with the British Councils ‘Active Citizens’ and ‘Youth in Action’ program to spread the ideas nationally and internationally as well.
Through early 2012, a landlord and two adjoining houses were identified, a team was put together and in June of the same year, the first 10 tenants moved into the SH houses. Over the next year the houses and garden underwent extensive landscaping and held many events. The garden was turned from an overgrown, debris-filled mess into a social and growing space, with a tree house and composting area. Events were held several times weekly include twice-weekly jam sessions, weekly movie nights, open garden events and occasional visits from passing like-minds. One such visit was from the founders of the ThePOOSH.org who gave a great presentation about their work and travels, setting up sustainable housing projects globally.
In 2013, the project continued on in another guise as the goals of the community became more geared toward music and gardening at the houses. Others community members decided to move out of the initial houses in order to focus on another project that had been spawned from SH – The Local Veg Box.
From March 2014 the membership of SH had scattered to work on solo projects. However the community formed through SH continues on their journey toward living a holistically sustainable lifestyle, prepared for when our paths cross again.