A DEVELOPER is offering the chance to win a flat rent-free for ten years as it raises money for housing projects.

Little Ships, which aims to build flats in small under-used spaces around Brighton, has launched a crowdfunding campaign to fund its efforts to buy land in the city.

People are urged to buy a £1 lottery ticket – and they could win ten rent-free years in one of the flats which will be in central Brighton.

The firm hopes to build eight flats on the roof of Preston Circus fire station and two apartment blocks in Kingswood Street, behind Brighton police station.

Company founder Hugh Dennis said any profits made from projects will go straight into more housing.

He said: “Twenty five years ago when I was living in London, I couldn’t help but notice the huge amount of under-used public-owned land everywhere.

“I wondered whether all of these small opportunities would be enough to solve the housing crisis.

“Little Ships will buy these little plots of land and employ the architects and all the other consultants we need to build good quality homes in our towns and cities. We will reinvest the money in doing more and doing better.”

The company has released plans for three housing projects across the city.

One involves building eight flats on top of Preston Circus fire station.

A company report read: “We think the best sort of homes here would be one, two and three bed flats with the same access core as the original fire officer flats.

“As long as the project doesn’t lose money we will do what needs to be done to get homes built here.”

Little Ships also proposed spending more than £6 million on building two blocks of flats behind the police station. It hopes to create a mix of studio flats and homes over the station’s existing car park.

Founder Mr Dennis said his company’s not-for-profit outlook meant it could take risks other developers could not.

He said: “There’s no mechanism for getting this land developed without someone making lots of private profit.

“The public sector simply isn’t dynamic enough to make many of these opportunities happen.

“The solution is to not make private profit.”

The company now hopes to raise £250,000 to fund its plans to buy land in the city.

If the £250,000 is not raised, all money will be given back.

Donating £1 gives you the chance of winning ten years rent-free in city centre flat.

But spending £25,000 means a Little Ships project will be named after you.

Despite the fun marketing, Mr Dennis said he was serious about tackling the city’s housing crisis.

He said: “The lack of decent, affordable places to live is one of the biggest causes of inequality in today’s society. We hope to build hundreds of homes in Brighton.”

For more information visit crowdfunder.co.uk/little-ships.