Why set up a housing co-operative?
Housing co-operatives are set up to meet the housing needs of local people.
Who can join a housing co-operative?
Anyone can join a housing co-operative if they are in genuine housing need. This may be either a home for sale or rent.
Do you need any specific qualifications to join your housing co-operative committee?
No, but a Board would benefit from a variety of skilled local people such as district councilors, parish councilors, community members, land owners and professionals like town planners, accountants or solicitors.
What can a housing co-operative deliver?
Schemes across the UK, Europe and the USA have delivered new homes in keeping with local incomes, business enterprises, space for work, education and food production. Homes tend to be delivered at lower than market values, either for sale or rent.
How do we set up a housing co-operative?
Form a group of like-minded people with similar ideas and objectives. Then, the group must work towards being legally incorporated to hold the asset by becoming either of:
- a Community Benefit Society (also known as an Industrial and Provident Society for the Benefit of the Community) [Must Register with Financial Conduct Authority]
- a Community Interest Company Ltd.by Guarantee (CIC) [Must register with The Company Interest Company Regulator]
- a Company Ltd. by Guaranteewhich is also a registered Charity [Must be registered with Companies House and the Charity Commission]
- a Company Ltd by Shares
Further details are available from the Confederation of Co-operative Housing or CDS Co-operatives but all emerging housing co-operatives should seek independent legal advice.
How can development be financed?
There are four different types of finance that can help you achieve your objectives:
- Stock Loans (income raised from investors)
- Private mortgage (from Building Society or The Co-operative Bank
- Government Grant and Loan Programmes - Shared Ownership and affordable homes programme 2016-21
- The Custom Build Serviced Plots Loan Fund - Provides up to £3m for ‘shovel ready’ self-build plots.
Will the scheme be fully mutual?
Fully mutual means that only members can be tenants. Non-members can be part of the co-operative but it would not be fully mutual.
Are there any completed schemes we can visit?
Yes, there are many schemes throughout England. Further details are available from the Confederation of Co-operative Housing or CDS Co-operatives.