This Week in the News – March 28th, 2022
Cooperative Housing Symposium (Zurich, Switzerland)
The world needs more housing cooperatives! Coops play a vital role in making our cities green, equitable, and community-led. But there are more people with housing needs than there are housing coops. That’s why we need to grow the movement: We want to share our success stories so that more coops worldwide can offer inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable housing. The date is September 22-23, 2022.
Main Topics of this Year’s Symposium
#Housing2030: Is cooperative housing the key to decent, adequate, affordable, and healthy housing for all?
Developing the Cooperative Toolbox: What do we need to grow our movement?
Community Engagement for Sustainability: Inspiring projects from Spain, Colombia, Switzerland, and Thailand.
Unlocking Cooperation for a More Sustainable and Equitable Future: Panel discussion with experts from around the world.
Click here to learn more and register.
New Fund Gives Communities Power to Deliver Affordable Homes (England)
Over 1,200 new affordable homes will be delivered across England with communities put in charge of where and how they will be built, the Department for Levelling Up, Housing, and Communities have announced.
The £4 million Community Housing Fund (CHF) programme helps community groups build homes in their local area by covering a range of costs incurred in the process – including renting the town hall for a public meeting, paying for searches, administration costs, or legal advice, design work and planning applications.
Once planning permission is granted, community groups can fund the build through the government’s Affordable Homes Programme, a Housing Association, a developer, or via a bank loan.
The fund will help level up the country by regenerating derelict areas and delivering homes that are affordable for local people, so more residents can live in the places they love.
The new houses will be part of locally-based organisations such as land trusts or housing co-operatives meaning they stay under the control of the community.
Click here to learn more.
When Small Means Strong: Community power at Cooperation Town (England)
Launched in Camden, north London, in 2019, Cooperation Town is a network of small community co-ops which work on a hyper local level, organising neighbourhoods into food-buying clubs.
The scheme means members can make savings of 30-40% on their food bills through shared bulk purchasing, but it also leveraging its small-scale model to empower working class neighbourhoods through non-hierarchical, autonomous, collective action.
There are currently 14 Cooperation Town co-ops in operation, with another 10 ready for launch and many more in the pipeline. The team has also produced its Starter Pack, a guide for people looking to set up a co-op, and has so far distributed around 1,000 copies. Organisers are working on a drive to see one running in every neighbourhood in Camden, which will also be the site of a new logistics hub. Cooperation Town hopes this warehouse can help them achieve greater economies of scale without individual co-ops having to get too big.
Click here to learn more.