I had a day of listening to and meeting inspiring tenants from housing cooperatives today. Josef Davies Coates lives in the Sanford Housing Cooperative, a wonderful example of eco housing. We met to talk about how the collaborative movement, around open source, in the digital world, and the cooperative movement, in the ‘analogue’ world, are combining. He is pictured below with Synnove Fredericks from the Hub, a fast growing community workspace across cities.
Later, I listened to Nic Bliss – twenty years a housing cooperative member – and the co-author of a fantastic new report on housing coops. Today, around one in a hundred houses are cooperatively owned and those who live there wax lyrical about what it means to them.
Satisfaction rates are higher than any tenancy and the report (the Commission on Cooperative and Mutual Housing) cites the people living there: “a village feel in the big city” (Jude Bramwell), “you look out for your neighbour, knowing your neighbour will look out for you” (Margaret Cope),”my children have been brought up in the coop. What a place to grow up! They immediately had a circle of friends” (Helima Zindani) and “virtually no incidents of anti-social behaviour in the coops” (Syed Maqsood).
If you like people, you will love what these coops are doing.