Monthly Archives: December 2016

A Day in the Life of a New Co-op Member

As I wake up to the morning sun shining down bright onto our 3rd floor balcony, I start my morning ritual of drinking tea whilst watching whatever passes by in the greenness of Leaf Street Community Garden space. The satisfaction of this is only granted more firmly in the knowledge that I am now part of the UK’s  leading network of radical co-ops whose members are committed to working for positive social change.

I was generously welcomed into Rockdove Rising Housing Co-op around 2 months ago in the cold Autumn of 2016 after 2 years of uncertain living conditions. As a Community Activist and Permaculture Gardener for local refugees and asylum seekers, it can be a tricky ordeal convincing your landlords of the Capitalistic compliance to ensure their properties remain profitable and highly unenjoyable.

That is when I found Rockdove Rising.

As if the planets aligned just right in the cosmic sky, Rockdove Rising scooped me out of the ever-deepening Capitalist pit and thrust me into the full energy of the Radical Routes network. I naively asked my fellow members if it would be possible for me to grow food here in my new home. They laughed and told me we have our own community garden here. I asked is there anywhere I could fix bikes. They once again laughed and told me we have our bike club here. I asked if I can cook the food I grow and share it with my neighbours. You guessed it, we have a People’s Kitchen.

With plans going ahead to purchase new flats and expand the Rockdove Rising Empire, you can’t help but smile at the multi- million pound, gentrified flats being built across the street in droves. I smile in the knowing that all the members of the Hulme Red Bricks Estate in which we are situated, has something so much more.

December 2016: Rockdove is Rising..

A lot has happened recently at RDR. The Co-op has grown and we now house ten members across four flats. That includes the first Rockdove baby, little Elmo!

Currently we have 10 members across a three-bedroom flat on Rockdove Avenue, two two- bedroom flats on Hunmanby Avenue and a one bedroom flat on Humberstone Avenue. As a co-op we are focused on buying the flats, which we currently rent. The original plan, as set out in the 2015 investor’s pack, was to buy a house using loanstock and a Radical Routes loan. However, the rapidly rising house prices on the Redbricks estates have made it difficult to achieve this. Each time we got the money together, the market value of the houses went up before we could apply for the loan (acquiring a Radical Routes loan is a slow process). Rapidly rising house prices really mess with the business model! A key aim of the co-op is to counter the gentrification that rising house prices are a part of and we are definitely in the eye of storm, with the flats going up over £30,000 last year.

So, a change of plan. We are now applying to get a mortgage on one or two flats in the next few months. We’re hopeful that we will be successful and are currently crunching the numbers. Watch this space..