1. Co-operative values
The properties will be owned and managed by a co-operative ‘mutual home ownership society’.
This means that as residents you will be members of a co-operative that manages the housing and makes decisions jointly and democratically. This gives you much more rights over the decisions affecting your home than in a leasehold flat or rented property, and also means you need to be willing to take responsibilities by your involvement in the co-operative. Co-operative principles and values also place a very high importance on equality.
Level of involvement will vary a little – there would be a Board, unpaid volunteers elected by the membership, who make decisions on the co-op’s policies and management; the rest of the membership would get involved by voting and by feeding into meetings as required.
For many, these co-operative values are one of the things that makes the scheme attractive, but it isn’t what everyone wants, so it’s something we want to clarify even this early in the process.
As we progress towards the point of having definite homes to offer, we will discuss these co-operative principles with those who are interested to clarify what is involved and whether you’re happy with it.
2. Commitment to sustainable living
Whilst the buildings will be designed to be as sustainable as possible, residents’ ways of living will need to be generally in tune with this principle too. This may mean sharing car ownership and sharing responsibilities for reducing waste or recycling, and looking after outside space in an environmentally sound way. This isn’t about ‘policing’the environmental behaviour of others in the community but simply about understanding the principles and being happy to try to live sustainably where possible for you. If that immediately puts you off, then this may not be the development for you.
3. The practicalities – money
The whole purpose of the model we have been working on is to provide affordable housing, so it is required that those who are thinking of living within the development have less than average household incomes for Birmingham – this is currently approximately ….. . However, because the model also requires some co-ownership there is unlikely (though not yet certain) to be social rented housing within the development, and residents will probably be asked to invest in a minimum of a single £1,000 share in the ownership of their home. This would be in addition to rent paid on the rest of the house or flat. This works out significantly more affordable than a mortgage on similar properties, but probably requires incomes over a certain level, too.
All this is not yet certain as it will depend on what happens with council and Homes and Communities Agency input, so if you don’t meet these practical criteria but think the development sounds exciting and interesting, please do still get in touch.
Go back – to fill in a questionnaire or read more about the CLT.