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.

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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.

Government seeks local authority custom build vanguards

Local Authorities are already required to 'identify and meet the needs' of people seeking to self build under the Localism Act 2012. The Coalition Government has since announced the intention to introduce a new Right to Build requiring local authorities to provide a serviced plot for self builders (backed by a £150 million support fund for local authorities and £30 million Custom Build (loan) Fund).

Custom Build Serviced Plot Fund- Exp's of Interest sought 30/09/14 deadline

The lovely people at the HCA are seeking expressions of interest for the new Custom Build Serviced Plot Fund – snappy title, i know. While you tongue twist this latest initiative title, there are a few details below about why it might be relevant for cohousing groups:

 

The prospectus and criteria for applications and eligible expenditure can be found here.

UKCN Job Advert: Membership & Communications Officer

UKCN Membership and Communication Officer

 

Salary £8,750 for 16 hours a week (£21,875 Full time equivalent)

Fixed term contract until December 2015

 

 

Lancaster Cohousing wins at Observer Ethical Awards 2014

Lancaster Cohousing has swooped up yet another national award winning the Oberver 2014 Ethical Award in the Community Energy Category.

 

Big congratulations from UKCN to everyone at Lancaster Cohousing.

 

Read here for more information in this weeks Oberver news article covering the awards and runner ups ( great new picture of the common house as well).

New £525m Builders Finance Fund Launched

The Department for Communities and Local Government, and the Homes and Community Agency, have launched the new £525 million Builders Finance Fund, which is designed to help restart and speed up housing developments between 15 and 250 units that have slowed down or stalled.
It aims to address the difficulties in accessing development finance faced by some house builders, particularly smaller developers, and to help bring forward stalled but viable sites.

 

Vancancy: UK Cohousing Network 'Group Member' Director

Join the UK Cohousing Network Board of Directors

 

 

 There is at least one vacancy on the UK Cohousing Network Board of Directors for a group member director.

To be eligible to join the board you need to be a nominated representative of a cohousing group in the UK with current membership of the Cohousing Network.

 

Congratulations as K1, Cambridge secure land from City Council for Cohousing

K1 Cohousing group has successfully negotiated the purchase of land from Cambridge City Council. The site will accommodate around 40 homes and a common house.

 

Plans for the common house are well underway and include a communal dining hall and kitchen, laundry, guest rooms, playroom and a workshop. Already 39 families have joined the forming community and will now have the task of both shaping the design and layout of the community and also building the relationships that will help this mutually supportive community flourish.

 

Interested in new cohousing group in Dorset/Devon?

I am planning a move to Dorset/East Devon in the near future and would like to meet people interested in establishing a rural co-housing project in this area. I have put together a simple web page with basic details of what I have in mind and my contact details:

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