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Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Co-operative Housing for our area

Calderdale Council is currently exploring the benefits of encouraging co-operative housing schemes in the borough. . . and it wants to hear from people who think they'd like to get involved. Co-operative housing is already a popular choice for communities in Sweden and Denmark but is new to the UK.

Schemes have their own individuality but are built around similar principles. Design innovation, a mixture of owning and renting, greener living, balancing private space in the home with shared communal rooms all help to create a community where you know your neighbours.

As with the development of 'Herfra til Evigheden' (translated to 'Here to Eternity') in Roskilde, Denmark, potential residents get involved in new housing projects right at the start, helping to chose a site and assist with the building design.

At Herfra til Evigheden many of the group of 22 55yr+ are still working and each take their turn to cook for everybody.

The first co-operative housing scheme in the UK is the Springhill Cohousing scheme in Gloucestershire. The scheme has won awards for its design and contribution towards creating a sustainable community. Some good examples of co-operative housing can be found closer to home.

In Leeds, the Low Impact Living Affordable Community (LILAC) is being built to a shared community vision providing homes, to part own, in a community which allows greater control over how the neighbourhood is run, in a safe environment.

Calderdale Housing Projects Officer, Stephanie Furness, says: "This type of living offers an alternative lifestyle.

"There are particular benefits for small communities with common needs or interests such as older people, single parent families to name a few, because of the support and shared aspects it offers.

"We'd like to hear from groups or individuals who might be interested in this sort of way of life.

"Maybe you are part of a group of people who have already decided this is the type of housing you would like to live in and just need a helping hand reaching your vision. Maybe you are a single person or family that wishes to be part of a closer, greener community."

If you would like to know more about this type of housing or would like to be kept up to date on the council's progress, either as a group or as an individual, please contact Stephanie on 01422 392651 or email doorways@calderdale.gov.uk.

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