Archive for February, 2010

February 21, 2010

Overwhelming Weight

The overwhelming weight of the evidence that has been presented to us has led us to the clear conclusion that the UK needs to bring cooperative and mutual housing options into our national housing policies.

No shit, Sherlock. From a report by The Commission on Co‑operative and Mutual Housing, whose site doesn’t seem to be working. The full report is pdf’d here on the Cooperatives UK site. With chapters like Co-operative & Mutual Housing what’s that all about then?, What do people out there want? and Myths and realities, it’s not such a difficult read. Not that I’ve trawled through all 74 pages myself, though. There’s a summary here.

The beginning of the year saw a positive housing co-op article in The Guardian, now both major political parties are talking of (giving lip-service to, at least) workers co-ops, or ’employee ownership’ as they put it. Well it’s nearly election time so we can presume they’re just scraping the barrel for extra votes. And Lambeth Council have ideas to become a co-op, although their plans to get residents involved in running some of the public services seem more connected to off-loading costs without looking like they’re reducing the local services.

Radical Routes have a video channel on Vimeo featuring four short films of a food co-op in Manchester, Footprint workers co-op, guerrilla gardening, and a (rather old but certainly not out-of-date) piece on Radical Routes.

And someone’s been to visit Manchester’s Equinox housing co-op and made a wee vid. Their place is looking good, they’ve even got a bike workshop, rainwater toilets… and an outdoor hot-tub! As every good housing co-op should have, I reckon. AND they’re all vegan!