UK Cohousing Network Newsletter July 2021

Dear Cohousing Friends

Another month and another newsletter! As crowds return to sporting events and society prepares to further open up from lock-down activities are increasingly apace within the cohousing and community-led housing worlds.

Annual General Meeting:
On 30 June we celebrated our first ever online Annual General Meeting with a hearty attendance of over 40 representatives from groups across the UK. I was delighted to present some of the headlines from the year which gave us all pause to consider just how much has been achieved during a difficult year. We were delighted to see the election to the board of directors of Sacha Woolham, representing Hope Cohousing in Orkney and Catherine Boswell, of Dol Llys Hall inWales. We also thanked Jackie Carpenter of Friendship Cohousing who is stepping down after a number of years of service but is keen to remain an active presence in the cohousing network with bold plans to support the growth of cohousing in Cornwall. The board will be meeting to discuss budgets, fundraising and influencing plans in the months ahead.

Cohousing Cafes
We continue to host two monthly cohousing cafes. The July meeting for established groups continued to explore the theme of cohesion, conflict and mediation and will be moving onto looking at finances to maintain and sustain communities and facilities. Our monthly session led by emerging groups (but open to all cohousing groups) explored the theme of how to find appropriate sites and compete in the market, negotiate with councils and housing associations.

Exciting news – in September we will be hosting Chris Beales, 
Member of the Executive Team implementing the recommendations of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Commission on Housing, Church and Community, an ordained Anglican minister and social entrepreneur who will be discussing how we can partner with local dioceses to use church land and buildings for cohousing schemes..

We are also delighted (in response to a request at the AGM) to be able to host Tony Tench, Deputy CEO at Housing 21 in October who will be discussing their ambition plans for developing cohousing schemes and how housing associations make the case for cohousing. Both events are open to all groups/members.

Possible Revenue Funding 2021-22
If all goes well, we’re hoping to have official announcements to make about a revenue fund for community housing groups in 2021-2. Keep an eye out for announcements on social media and in newsletters. if it goes ahead further details will follow on its value, who will manage it, process of application in due course. In the meantime, cohousing groups in pre-site development phases are advised to contact local advice hubs in readiness for what is likely to be a competitive process.

I hope to see you at a Cohousing Cafe soon.


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