Anyone interested in starting a Housing Co-operative?


#1

Following up from a conversation a few weeks ago, is anyone interested in starting up a housing co-operative in London?

Please add your expressions of interest here. :smiley: .


#2

Hi Billy. If you do get some interest, I can point you to various sources of help/info/advice/support on housing co-ops. John Goodman


#3

Me too :slight_smile: e.g. I gathered a load of good links and resources for Co-ops London here https://ldn.coop/start-a-co-op/start-a-housing-co-op/

Also, whilst I’m not particularly interested in a normal house share housing co-op (generally not very suitable for families), I am very interested in any affordable community land trust/ cohousing projects that allow for living in co-operative community.


#4

Check out the UK Cohousing Network website https://cohousing.org.uk/. General info and connections to other groups - existing or forming.


#5

Thank you for the links. You’ve found some i hadn’t come across. I’ll follow up on them.

The main reason i posted here, was that during the Outlandish Chrimbo party in January, a few people there mentioned that they were having problems with housing, and that they were interested in starting a housing co-op. I was wondering if they were still interested.


I’ve got access to three buildings through my current landlord, and the estate manager was interested in offering them on a lease to me to get a housing co-op off the ground. This was due to me spotting some maintenance issues, that would have turned into long-term problems if they weren’t fixed early.

After a long conversation about housing management, and construction issues, he made an informal offer of me taking on, not just the building i was living in near Stratford, but also two others near Leytonstone. I was over the moon at this offer, but it was more than i could handle on my own, hence my looking for other people.


Leasing the buildings would be one way that we could get a housing co-op established, with a financial track-record of working successfully, which, in turn, would be the track-record that banks will offer mortgages/long-term-loans on.

@jdaviescoates The difficulties with finding places in child-friendly housing co-ops, is one of the main reasons i ended up renting privately. When my girlfriend became pregnant, i had to move out of the housing co-op where i was living, as it was only for single people, with no children.

The only child-friendly housing co-ops in London had minimum 3 year waiting lists, and this was 17 years ago, so it was way before the housing market got as tight as it is now.

I’ve spoken to the estate manager recently, and the offer is still open.

The main issue is finding other people that are actually interested in putting the work in to establish a long-term co-operative, and aren’t just looking for somewhere to move into next week.

I’ll keep looking. :smiley:


#6

Billy @BillySmith the challenge of finding people for shared living arrangements has been one stimulus for me to design a much better and more effective way for people to find other people with any needs that fit together well. Just worth mentioning – what I call the CHOICE System in case you or anyone knows anyone who would like to develop this collaboratively into a platform co-op. The income stream would be from some of the (currently vast amount of) money that businesses spend on recruitment.


#7

Potentially nteresting opportunity but of course the devil is in the detail.

If we could negotiate a long and cheap lease and there are options for family living in these properties then I’m interested in helping to take this forward.

But if they want anything close to market rates then not interested at all.

What’s the deal?


#8

I hadn’t got to that stage of the discussion.

I’m currently living in an unfurnished two-bedroom flat, that i’ve been living in for the last 17 years. Note, i have furniture. :smiley: It’s just rented to me as an unfurnished flat.

The rent is £750pcm, and the rent has only increased once in the last 17 years. It was originally £700pcm.

They are more interested in having reliable long-term tenants, rather than the quick buck, which i was told explicitly by the estate manager, when chatting with him about the Olympic Games, around 7 years ago.


#9

Well that is very cheap! If you think they might be up for similar rents for new tenants then let’s chat to them and visit properties!


#10

i’ll give them a shout and see what they say. :smiley:


#11

The estate manager i was originally talking with has retired, but the new manager is open to the idea.

We just need to put a sensible proposal together and pitch it to the new manager. :smiley:


#12

How to propose anything without knowing details of properties in question etc


#13

Make it generic.

Design it for the building i am in, and adapt it, when we know more about the specific details of the other two buildings.

I’m in an unfurnished flat above a shop, with another flat upstairs. Both are two bedroom flats, with kitchen, bathroom/WC. My flat comes with a garage, that is being used as a bike-store for the building.

Also, my flat is above a dry-cleaners, which means that i have some of the cheapest heating bills in all of the places i have ever lived in, both in London and elsewhere.


#14

We won’t need to have specific figures for the initial proposal.

We WILL need them for the Go/No-Go decision point for our decisions.

When we send them the initial proposal for them to look at, we’ll request more details on the other two buildings, so we can square out our cost-projections, both for the short-term, and for the medium-term.


#15

We lay it out for a 5 year lease, for the short-term.

Medium-term, 10-20 year leases.

Long-term, that’s where we’ll be looking to buy properties, or buy land for new-build, once we’ve got a track record we can take to a bank/financial institution.