The co-operative principles are guidelines by which co-operatives put their values into practice.
1st Principle: Voluntary and Open Membership
Co-operatives are voluntary organizations, open to all persons able to use their services and willing to accept the responsibilities of membership, without gender, social, racial, political or religious discrimination.
2nd Principle: Democratic Member Control
Co-operatives are democratic organizations controlled by their members, who actively participate in setting their policies and making decisions.
3rd Principle: Member Economic Participation
Members contribute equitably to and democratically control the capital of their cooperative. Members allocate surpluses for any or all of the following purposes: developing the co-operative, possibly by setting up reserves, part of which at least would be indivisible; and supporting other activities approved by the membership.
4th Principle: Autonomy and Independence
Co-operatives are autonomous self-help organizations controlled by their members. If they enter into agreements with other organizations, including governments, or raise capital from external sources, they do so on terms that ensure democratic control by their members and maintain their co-operative autonomy.
5th Principle: Education, Training and Information
Co-operatives provide education and training for their members so they can contribute effectively to the development of their co-operatives. They inform the general public, particularly young people and opinion leaders about the nature and benefits of co-operation.
6th Principle: Co-operation Among Co-operatives
Co-operatives serve their members most effectively and strengthen the co-operative movement by working together through local, national, regional and international structures.
7th Principle: Concern for the Community
While focusing on member needs, co-operatives work for the sustainable development of their communities through policies accepted by their members.
We define social housing as housing affordable to individuals on a low-income and openly available to possibly marginalised individuals. We call low income a level of income below that necessary to maintain a standard of living permitting full and healthy participation in society, notwithstanding personal capacity to do so. Marginalisation may include, but not be limited to, discrimination on the basis of gender, sexuality, religion, ethnicity, language, ability/disability, poverty and addiction.
Rockdove Rising aims to provide Social Housing in the central Manchester area. Social Housing in a co-operative setting is recognised as:
- Enabling residents to work more fully toward radical social change for the benefit of society at large;
- Enabling residents to control their own housing;
- Enabling residents to support and help one another;
- Enabling residents to develop close community ties and elevate community spirit.
To achieve these aims, Rockdove Rising is committed to setting rental levels at or below the level that the Local Authority is willing to provide as Housing Benefit. It is recognised that some individuals may not be eligible for Housing Benefit, and in this instance Rockdove Rising is willing to consider further reduced rental levels, providing that the finances of the housing co-op as a whole are not jeopardised.
The degree to which Rockdove Rising is able to provide social housing depends upon the capacity of its members to contribute to the smooth running of the co-op. As we are only recently formed, and have expanded from renting one to three flats (as at December 2014) in only eighteen months, at the moment we are concentrating on consolidating our expansion and raising the loanstock required to purchase some of the flats we rent.
Please see the Primary Rules of Rockdove Rising for a fuller statement regarding non-discrimination.
Our decision to make our collective spaces inside Rockdove Rising vegetarian goes hand in hand with our approach to to the environment. We recognise that the farming of animals for food frequently has a detrimental effect on the environment and by limiting our consumption of animal products we are attempting to reduce the impact this industry has on the environment.
Rockdove Rising is located on the Bentley Housing Estate, affectionately known to locals as ‘The Redbricks’ . One of the key motivations for the formation of our housing cooperative was to try and stem the tide of gentrification in Hulme and preserve the unique community that exists on the estate and the local area. We feel that it is important as residents of the Redbricks to be involved in the projects that happen in the area including the community garden, people’s kitchen, bike club, internet collective and the Tenants and Residents Association (TARA) to name a few. Providing affordable rent and taking control of our living situations helps facilitate us to be more involved in community activism.
The tenants of Rockdove Rising subscribe to a principle of Autonomy. We feel that taking control of our own living situations, fostering a network of mutual support and not profiting from the need for secure housing are fundamental motivations behind our formation. In a time when housing is becoming increasingly difficult to acquire we believe that it is important to take control of our housing whilst operating under consensus decision making and supporting each other.