As a next follow up from the ”Making Cohousing Happen” event it gives us great pleasure to share with you some thoughts and documentations from our consultant Steven Tolson.

Here is what he has identified as

Some Emerging Issues raised by Conference Delegates
1. Obtain policy support from Planning and Housing departments on the positive role of Co-housing and bring forward suitable sites to be included in housing investment strategies and local development plans.
2. Co-housing should be recognised as ‘collective self-build’ and form part of Scottish Government’s policy and strategy to promote wider self-build housing in Scotland.
3. Create a public register of suitable sites held by local authorities.
4. Establish a Scottish co-housing entity that can hold a register of those interested in becoming involved in co-housing.
5. Co-housing groups should be recognised as a ‘community body’ and given the tools and support as part of the community empowerment policy and legislation.
6. Make representations to Scottish Government for a policy / initiative for a Scottish mutual finance structure that could support the financing of co-housing. An approach of utilising community credit unions is being considered in Glasgow.
7. Opportunities for co-housing should be considered on a mixed tenure of owner occupation, shared ownership, mid-market and social rent.
8. Co-housing should be recognised as ‘affordable’ within planning policy definition for ‘affordable housing’.
3 Action Points to Address
1. Persuade the Scottish Government and Scottish Local Authorities to provide planning and housing policy support to enable co-housing to be recognised as making a positive contribution to housing supply and provide opportunities to acquire suitable sites.
2. Have an effective funding support structure from both public and private means to help liberate affordable mixed tenure co-housing developments.
3. Create a communication network that enables people to get active and participate in co-housing.
Steven Tolson
December 2016

The full conference synopsis report can be read and downloaded from here. It includes synopsis of speakers’ presentations of Archie Rintoul (Conference Chair), Petra Biberbach (PAS), Craig Sanderson (Link), Angela Doran (GCC) and Jane Seraillier (Springhill CoHo)

In his conference presentation “The Big Story”, see some slides of it featured above (click on images to enlarge), Steven tells us

Co-housing is Good for Everyone
•Families – great playing and learning environment for young children
•Young Adults – access to housing opportunities that liberate them from being part of ‘generation rent’
•Older People – companionship and living in a supportive environment

Read or download Steven’s full presentation from here  and here are two more conference networking time images, by Steven, too. (click on each to enlarge)

Jane Seraillier, cofounder and resident of Springhill Cohousing in Stroud, had been invited to the conference by Steven after he had visited and was inspired by the CoHo project there. Jane’s contribution to the conference was greatly valued by the delegates, as she brought the real life experience of buiding and sustaining a CoHo community. We might be able to share her presentation and words in more details when Architecture & Design Scotland have compiled their report in January. Meanwhile you might find Steven’s case study of Springhill Cohousing of interest, read or download from here.

With thanks to Steven Tolson we are looking forward to hear your feedback, dear reader, either in comments below the article, or via email, facebook or twitter. Get in touch especially if you can help advancing the Scottish CoHousing Manifesto he has been drafting in preparation for CoHo Collaborators to launch it . It needs all of us now to get lobbying for legislative and financial as well as mutual support, because CoHo is just so economic in the end when all the dots are connected with ease.

If you are new and curious about CoHo, or if you want to be kept inspired, do some video browsing now and then, and why not start with this little tour round Springhill CoHo taken by a visitor in 2011:

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