August – October 2020

Apologies for the gap…

One of our members did take part in the diversity and inclusion project mentioned in July. We also put one of the folks who withdrew from the community in touch with the student. We thought it was important for folks who didn’t feel sufficiently represented to have a say in the study.

The project plan went from strength to strength. It’s now at version 0.4. Still needs a lot of work, but we’ll now be focussing on putting our specifics into the plan (e.g. which tasks are completed, which are still to go, etc.). That will help us to see what still needs to be done. And of course, the main thing is that it’ll feed into the business plan, and will also be a good basis for the risk register (also a part of the business plan).

The biggest news is that the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has finally approved the new set of model Rules (constitution) for a Mutual Home Ownership Society (MHOS) type of housing co-operative. This is important for us, because that’s us. We are very grateful for the work of Blase Lambert, of the Confederation of Co-operative Housing (CCH). He put the Rules together and steered it through the lawyers and the FCA. The Rules are now available on the Co-operatives UK website.

One of the members has been through the Rules with a fine-tooth comb, and Blase has very graciously helped translate some of the lawyerese back into English for them. The community is currently going through the Rules to affirm that they are suitable, and to make suggestions about what we might want to have in Standing Orders to supplement the Rules. This feels like great progress. We’ll finally be able to get ourselves incorporated, and that will feel great!

We’ve attended various webinars. Ones on finance, and on conflict resolution have been particularly notable.

Before the latest lockdown, we had a couple of socially distanced walks in a local wood. Great to see people in person. ;o) And we’ve also continued to hold Zoom meetings.

So, exciting times!

Published by CoHoWM

Cohousing West Midlands is (surprise) a cohousing project for the West Midlands! Cohousing is where everyone has their own front door, but there's also a community house for weekly shared meals and activities, and other shared spaces. More than a Housing Association, and less than a co-op!

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