As a Wellbeing RSA ‘goal champion’, I believe that Co-operative and community-led housing (CCLH) is about local people playing a leading and lasting role in solving local housing problems, creating genuinely affordable homes and strong, resilient communities.
It can involve building new homes, returning empty homes to use and managing existing homes. CCLH can take several different forms and covers all tenures, including housing co-operatives, community land trusts (CLTs), tenant management organisations (TMOs), cohousing, community self-build schemes and self-help housing groups.
In line with the 6th International Co-operative Principle of Co-operation among Co-operatives: ‘Co-operatives serve their members most effectively and strengthen the co-operative movement by working together through local, national, regional and international structures.’ i.e. through their trusted networks.
In 2011 the Welsh Government established a Co-operative Housing Project, managed by the Wales Co-operative Centre and also supported by the Nationwide Foundation. Since then the project has worked with dozens of local groups and housing organisations to explore mutual, co-operative and community-led housing options, including several pioneer schemes across Wales. Their regional networks have brought together a variety of interested stakeholders together to explore the transformational potential of CCLH and the practicalities– planning, finance, governance, community engagement – and achieving a successful CCLH project of attractive, viable, safe and well-connected communities across Wales.
On a smaller and equally important scale, One Planet Developments are required to integrate with their local community and conduct a community impact assessment. They must record the quantity and value of local food, goods and services sold or exchanged for local consumption and take steps to redress any negative impacts. These One Planet Developments can be trusts or co-operatives.
I'll be speaking more about my work at the Wellbeing for Future Generations Fellows' event on 13 April 19 and I look forward to seeing you there!
David Palmer FRSA lives just outside Abergavenny, and since 2012 he has been the Co-operative Housing Project Manager working across Wales to promote social, financial and digital inclusion through a range of projects.
Before working at the Co-operative Centre, David was a National Affordable Housing Programme Manager at Persimmon Homes; responsible for their Homes and Communities Agency Bids and Programme delivery in England.