OWCH Triumph at the Housing Design Awards

We’re delighted to announce that a London-based cohousing scheme has scooped the top prize at a national awards ceremony.

New Ground, the first senior female cohousing development in the country, was announced as this year’s best example of custom-build housing at the Housing Design Awards. Akin to the Oscars’ Best Picture award or Crufts’ Best in Show, this is a big deal for the community-led housing movement, and of course, a fantastic achievement for the Older Women’s Cohousing Community (OWCH) group, who have worked so hard to make the scheme a reality.

We’ve been sharing news of this pioneering 25-unit development, which is situated in High Barnet, for some time now. New Ground was conceived and delivered by a group of women seeking to take control of their own futures and reduce the risk of social isolation and loneliness that can sometimes come with old age. The women, aged 50-87, worked with architects Pollard Thomas Edwards to co-design the flats and communal areas, including the large shared garden.

The judging panel commented on the people-powered approach that embodies the community-led housing movement and was undertaken by OWCH:

“There is a human story at the heart of this scheme as it marks the triumphant culmination of a heroic 20-year personal struggle for a group of older women to create an independent housing development that conformed to their own personal needs and lifestyles rather than that of a volume house builder.”

Design for Homes, organisers of the Housing Design Awards, also produced this film. It’s well worth a watch.

New Ground from Insites Digital on Vimeo.

For more information on Older Women’s Cohousing Community read¬†this case study.

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