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Housing co-operatives

| Property, sharing | October 31, 2011

The second of two posts about ways that sharing can help people find suitable accomodation solutions, specificaly looking at:

Housing co-operatives

For those who want to move on from the house/flat/home share scenario, who need more space and somewhere long term to live, and who may have children too, the options are getting ever more constrained. Even if they can pay the mortgage, have they got the deposit? Is their credit rating good enough? Is the bank feeling helpful today.

One route forward is to get together with a group of like-minded people and families, and buy a large property together. One mechanism which protects everyone (in what can be a complex legal and financial situation) is to form a not-for-profit, fully mutual co-operative which purchases the property. Each person pays rents to the co-operative, which is used to pay the mortgage taken out by the co-operative. This arrangement makes it easier for people to leave/join, but also gives the “tenants” total control upon the property.

The end result is that people have a way of affording a decent living space, usually with a bigger garden and living area, often in a better location. There may also be other benefits such as helping each other with childcare etc. Radical Routes website has some good information and they also lend money to housing co-operatives to form the deposit. They are rightly very demanding of potential housing co-operatives; they want clear evidence that people have discussed all the possibilities and fully understand what they are doing.

Homeshare and housing co-operatives won’t work for everyone and they need careful consideration, but I can see both growing steadily over the next few years.

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