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Housing co-operatives “a secure and stable home”

June 24, 2012

I was reading an interesting article recently in the co-operative members magazine about a housing co-operative in South East Australia. The article had the title “I have a secure and stable home for my family”. How many private tenants would like to say that! The South East Housing Co-operative formed in 2000 has rents set at 25% of members income. The article stated that the co-op is a long-term sustainable housing model that works!

There was an interesting article in the Guardian on how a group of like-minded people set up a housing co-op in East London. See: http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2011/jul/29/housing-co-op-affordable-home and
http://www.thedrive.coop/

Housing co-ops are groups of people who live in and collectively manage their accommodation. Members take responsibility for arranging repairs, decisions about rent and membership of the co-operative. It can be difficult to get a place in a housing co-op because housing co-ops are quite scarce and few vacancies come up. To see a list of existing housing co-operatives go to: http://www.cch.coop/coopinfo/links.html

Mutual Housing is membership based housing – where some form of community membership owns and/or manages new or existing homes.See: http://mutualhousinggroup.coop/

I personally would like to see more private tenants having the option of applying to join a housing co-operative rather than moving into the private rented sector where they might have to put up with high rents, insecurity and poor housing conditions and little say about anything to do with their tenancy. The National Private Tenants Organisation (NPTO) campaigns for formal structures to facilitate tenant consultation. Alas as you will have seen from the  list of housing co-ops at www.cch.coop there are not that many around.

For further info. visit the Confederation of Co-operative housing at: http://www.cch.coop/
and http://www.uk.coop/content/funding-housing-co-ops and
http://www.cds.coop/coop_movement/housing-co-operatives-in-the-uk

If you would like to think about setup a housing co-operative have a look  at: http://www.cch.coop/coopinfo/funding.html and http://www.radicalroutes.org.uk/

NPTO continues to campaign for professionally managed, secure, decent and affordable private rented homes in sustainable communities and for private tenants to be consulted by landlords on issues affecting them.

Kevin Allen

 

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