November 2021

This month we attended the regular UK Cohousing Network coffee evening. We heard from the director of a Housing Association which is prototyping a Cohousing-style approach to some of its housing for seniors in the Midlands. We also heard from Portaferry Cohousing, Northern Ireland’s first Cohousing community.

One of us had a chat with a representative from Maldaba, the software company which wrote the software package that allows Lilac to manage their Mutual Home Ownership monetary calculations, and any repairs that are required on homes, etc. We talked about licencing fees, and they seemed very reasonable.

One of us attended a meeting organised by HACT (Housing Associations’ Charitable Trust) about the relationship between housing and health in general, and about building relationships between Housing Associations and NHS Public Health bodies in particular.

One of us attended a very useful Practitioners’ Forum put on by Co-operatives UK. Many, many useful sessions, it was hard to choose which to attend. In the end we attended sessions on: “Communicating your co-op’s USP”; “A Guide to Grant Funding for Co-ops and Community Businesses”; “Governance/legal update”; and “Financial Distress – role and responsibilities of the Board and Warning Signs and Options”. One hopes that careful attention to detail will mean we won’t need to much advice from the latter forum!

Besides this, CoHoWM had its usual business and social events. We also attended a hybrid face-to-face and Zoom meeting between Birmingham Community Cohousing, and had a joint park / playground / cafe meetup, which everyone enjoyed. Exploration is continuing, but we think it will likely be a good thing for our groups to join forces. Very positive!

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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