On Thursday 16th November I had a useful meeting with two councillors for Moseley and Kings Heath ward. They expressed interest in the cohousing project, and were aware of the several full-on housing co-ops that exist in the city. They expressed a general support from Birmingham City Council for such projects, stating that in some circumstances the Council were able to release pockets of land – though perhaps not on the scale that a 20-30 home development would entail.
They pointed me in the direction of several groups who are already thinking about this kind of housing area. They too mentioned the Community-Led Housing group meeting at Impact Hub.
For land, they mentioned that various public bodies – central or local government, the NHS, etc. – are looking to disburse tracts of land that they own, particularly for groups that have a social aim. At the moment I envisage that Brum Cohousing would have a social aim as one of its elements, but I’m not sure whether this would be strong enough to leverage some of this kind of land.
They gave me the name of the councillor and the officers who are in charge of housing for Birmingham City Council (BCC), and I’ve now invited them to the meeting on Thursday 23rd November, and to meet more generally to find out how BCC is fulfilling the obligations it has under 2105 self-build legislation. (See Brum Cohousing Links, Nerdy links.)