ESRC Seminar Series: Collaborative Housing and Community Resilience

Welcome to Collaborative Housing and Community Resilience, a knowledge exchange ESRC sponsored seminar series.


This seminar series reflects collaboration between the UK Cohousing Network and six UK universities; Lancaster, Leeds, London School of Economics, Newcastle (principal applicant), Nottingham, and Sheffield involving a seven-strong steering group:


Expertise of our Associate Members

This year we are recruiting Associate Members to UKCN.  These members have knowledge and skills that cohousing groups may be seeking and have agreed to have their various talents made public on this website.  UKCN is neither recommending nor not recommending but giving you access to people who probably can help you out.


What is cohousing?

Springhill cohousing in Stroud

Cohousing is a way of living which brings individuals and families together in groups to share common aims and activities while also enjoying their own self-contained accommodation and personal space.

Cohousing communities are a means of compensating for the alienating effects of modern life where neighbours don't recognise each other and where day-to-day collaboration is minimal. They offer particular benefits for children in terms of secure play-space and shared activities with their peers. Older people can also find companionship and mutual support in such communities.

The main features of cohousing communities are:

  • They are set up and run by their members for mutual benefit
  • Members are consciously committed to living as a community
  • Developments are designed to encourage social contact and a sense of neighbourhood among members.
  • Common space facilitates shared activities like community meals and other amenities like laundries, heating systems, guest rooms, transport, etc may be shared

Cohousing in the UK

There is a rapidly-growing UK interest in cohousing - take a look at our map of UK projects. There are an increasing number of groups seeking sites and many individuals seeking a group to join. There are ten fully-established cohousing communities in the UK, some having started up in the late 60s and established by 1970 before the word 'cohousing' was in use: Postlip in the Cotswolds, the Community Project, in Laughton near Lewes, Thundercliffe Grange near Rotherham, Trelay Farm in Cornwall, Canon Frome in Wiltshire, Springhill in Stroud, and the Threshold Centre in Dorset. Smaller cohousing schemes include Stroud Co-flats, Frankleigh co-flats and The Courtyards near Bradford upon Avon. All are based on owner-occupation, although the Stroud community has three shared ownership units. It is difficult to pin down the exact number of groups as they are constantly in flux. We estimate there are 25 - 30 forming groups currently functioning, with another tier of up to 60 loose coalitions interested in cohousing.

To find out more:

The UK Cohousing Network website is a repository of information from many people. When reading an article, note whether it has an author beneath the title. If it does, that piece is the author's own views. This site hopes to encourage the sharing of as many viewpoints as possible so we can support each other in developing cohousing. But note that only un-named articles can be attributed to the UK Cohousing Network.

Springhill photo © Alexander Caminada.

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Rental opportunity at Earth Heart

At Earth Heart Housing Co-op in Derbyshire Dales countryside: there’s an opportunity to rent (bed-sit-type room/s in shared home or self-contained 1-bed annexe) at one of the homes in this successful, well-established community. The essence of tranquillity, Earth Heart is located in a rural hamlet near Ashbourne with beautiful views over the small valley. 20 acres of shared organic land, including parkland, woodland, brook, orchard, community allotments and private use of garden. Shared use of communal converted farm building.

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Exciting times! Oxford Cohousing bid for Stansfeld in Headington

Oxford Cohousing has put in a bid to buy Stansfeld Outdoor Education Centre in Headington, Oxford! The deadline for bids was midday on Thursday 14th May and we know that our bid arrived with Birmingham City Council Estates Office at 9am on that day. 

YorSpace Bid Update

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From YorSpace:


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Plots for Sale

Are you interested in living in an established co-housing community?

The Courtyards Community has 2 building plots with planning permission for 2 semi-detached 3 or 4 bedroom houses for sale at a price of £125,000 or more each.

If you are interested or want more information please email courtyardscommunity[at]outlook[dot]com


On the Brink March Update

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At one level the members of ‘On The Brink’, a newish co-housing group in Sheffield, don’t want anything too complicated.  We just want a handy place to live in collaboration with other people with whom we share a number of common ideals and values – easy.


Big Conversation 2015 Results

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In January 2015 we asked all of our members and contacts to join in our 'Big Conversation' on the UK Cohousing Network's activities and membership offer. We had a total of 147 responses, with 44% respondents from cohousing groups with a current UK Cohousing Network membership.


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Shangrileeds March Update

Shangrileeds are in the middle of a recruitment drive for new members at the moment and are meeting on the third Saturday of the month at a central venue in Leeds for a shared lunch followed by a business meeting. New members welcome, please join us for our next meeting on Saturday 21st at the Swarthmore Education Centre LS3 1AD from 12.30 p.m onwards. Hope to see you there…

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