Many people across Chichester District are finding it difficult to find homes in their area because of a lack of affordable homes. The main reasons are high house prices combined with comparatively low wages which make it hard for people to stay in their village, even though they may have grown up there and have a strong local connection.

If your community is facing these issues then forming housing co-operatives could be the answer. The Government is keen to help communities create their own solutions to the housing shortage and housing co-operatives can play a key role in this.

What are Housing Co-operatives?

Housing co-operatives are controlled by their residents, who are all members of the organisation and have a say in all decisions about their housing. The legal structure of a co-operative gives the organisation a legal identity which allows it to own property, take out mortgages and collect rents. Therefore, the land and buildings are all owned by the co-operative which in turn rents out the accommodation to its members.  This model of delivery requires a hands-on approach by all of its members and residents.

What are the benefits?

Co-operatives effectively create their own landlord that is controlled by the residents, this give all residents a say in how their housing is managed. It also creates a strong community environment. This, in turn, allows for shared assets like laundry facilities, gardens, kitchens and recreation areas.