What is a Housing Co-op

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Co-operatives are essentially housing associations governed by the tenants/members and thus give tenants control over their own housing. They provide rented housing without landlords, or rather, the tenants are collectively their own landlord. By setting up housing co-operatives we empower ourselves to take control over one of the most fundamental aspects of our lives and in the process we transfer property from private ownership to common ownership. Registering under the Co-operative & Community Benefit Societies Act (2014) gives a group the legal structure which allows it to operate as a co-operative. One of the main benefits of this structure is that housing co-ops are entitled to advertise and issue LOANSTOCK to the public. Loanstock is a means of borrowing money from sympathetic individuals and organisations without giving the holder any measure of control over the co-operative

Fully Mutual

All tenants are members and all members are either tenants or prospective tenants. Each member holds a minimum of one share, usually valued at a nominal £1, though the number of shares a member can hold is not restricted to just one unless the co-op is both fully mutual and par value. The value of the shares a member holds is usually the limit of the member’s liability should things go wrong.

Par Value

Literally ‘same value’, all members own the same value of shares in the co-operative, usually a nominal £1, so par value is the opposite to co-ownership. Par value status dictates who owns the co-operative and their influence [one share, one vote]

Rockdove Rising is a fully mutual par value co-operative

The ownership of houses and land cannot be divided up among the members. The property remains in common ownership from generation to generation and if the co-operative is dissolved, the assets must be passed to another co-op or to a not-for-profit organisation with similar aims and principles. This is specified in our registered rules.

Tenant Management Co-operatives.

A TMC rents or manages property from a landlord who may be a private individual, a company, a local authority or a housing association. The co-operative has an agreement with the owner of the property, which specifies areas for which the co-operative has responsibility, such as aspects of maintenance. The cost of the responsibilities taken on by the co-op are calculated and the money is either taken out of the rent by the co-operative or the owner repays the co-operative the agreed amount. At the moment this is the situation with Rockdove Rising, but our issue of LOANSTOCK this year should enable us to purchase a number of flats on the estate. In this case we will be in a situation where:

Housing is owned by the Co-operative.

Here the members have collective control over the housing in which they live and have the same responsibilities and privileges as any other home owner, but these are shared.