Anna’s Blog – May 2016

Anna Kear, Executive Director

Hello again, I’m gradually getting to learn more and more about cohousing and have really enjoyed speaking with and meeting with some of the groups across the UK. Through getting to know you and understanding the issues you face, I’m putting together a picture of the things that UKCN can potentially facilitate to make the routes to your cohousing ambitions easier and quicker to achieve.

Since March, I have visit Oxford Cohousing and Vintage Green Cohousing in Pembrokeshire; and spoken with the chairs of Cambridge K1; Cannock Mill Colchester and Berkshire Cohousing.

I’ve been involved in discussions that have fed into DCLG about the £60M funding pot for community led housing; fed into the Local Government Association review on housing and older people; set up the Membership and Communications support services with the National CLT Network and CDS Cooperatives; and visited a developing shared ownership cooperative in Newport. I am documenting much of this to build the basis of an ‘investment ready plan’ which is the agreed outcome of our Big Lottery Accelerating Ideas project. I hope that I’ve also been helpful to the groups in the meantime answering queries and making changes to our website to better meet members needs.

In order for the Network to be really effective and more self reliant we need more members to join UKCN. We need all types of members, from established groups sharing their peer to peer learning and advertising their open day events; developing groups at various stages, sharing their experiences and the latest opportunities and issues with finance, site finding, planning and policy issues as well as seeking new members to their group; new forming groups looking for information and guidance; individual/friend members and associate members who can put their profile on our professional services page for members to see and contact for their services. Please do join and encourage others to join UKCN as the Network will be stronger and better with us all working together to support cohousing across the UK.

As ever if you have any suggestions or questions please email me at anna@cohousing.org.uk