Dear Cohousing Friends
Welcome to the first newsletter of 2021!
Despite the difficult times we are all facing with the pandemic there are some positives to look forward to in the world of cohousing in the year ahead. We thought we would kick the year off by listing some cohousing ‘reasons to be cheerful’ to look forward to in 2021 to help us get through the winter days.
- We are really looking forward to launching the UK’s first Cohousing Guides for groups, advisors and hubs. An introductory programme for UKCN’s members will be announced shortly.
- By popular demand, the Cohousing Cafes for emerging cohousing groups will also be making a return in the months ahead.
- We are excited by the developments of a number of groups across the UK seeking to build and move into their cohousing schemes and we hope to hear more progress from groups including Still Green, Lowfield Green, Bridport, Halton Senior Cohousing, Chapeltown Cohousing, Friendship Cohousing, On The Brink, Housing 21 and Hope Cohousing. If we should be spotlighting your progress, please make contact.
- We will be saying more about the findings of UK Cohousing’s Annual Survey in the next issue!
- UK Cohousing Network has a new website on the way and a new membership offer.
- We are optimistic that the government will be announcing and demonstrating strong backing for self and custom builders, including cohousing groups, in the year ahead.
- The potential renewal of some form of Community Housing Fund
- Breaking Ground Festival is being held in Liverpool celebrating all forms of Community Led Housing and has Maria Brenton (OWCH/New Ground), Chris Coates (Lancaster Cohousing) and Frances Wright (Marmalade Lane) all on the bill (alongside myself!)
- Rural Housing Summit 2021 coming up in February, a week-long event featuring cohousing by Rural Housing Scotland
- We are looking forward to the RICS awards in 2021 and wonder whether a new cohousing group will be winning an award to following in the sparkling footprints of Marmalade Lane who carried off a Social Impact award in 2020.
- Mutual Home Ownership Society Rules are being revamped, making it easier for cohousing groups to use the model as an alternative for homeownership and renting.
- Built to Rent Models are beginning to be applied to potential community housing opportunities which could have huge potential for scaling cohousing. We await the first project to pilot BTR for an ethical, affordable, community-owned project.
- Forming groups to create cohousing around land opportunities for cohousing, like the one in Cambridgeshire
- We are hoping to see funding/investment to pilot UKCN’s community coaches research project to help cohousing groups
- UK Cohousing Network’s board will be making further strides to ensure we fully connect cohousing groups and membership organisations in Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland in 2021.
- 2021 AGM – a chance to celebrate the past year and fill any vacancies with talented new board members – could this be your chance to join us?
Are you feeling more positive yet? Until next time…
Owen – UKCN CEO