We’re a small housing co-operative of 5 adults living in a shared house in south east London, which we bought in 2020. We’d describe ourselves as left-leaning, and most of us are involved in political or community activism. We aim to balance a certain degree of communal living (e.g. sharing communal space and some meals) with the freedom for each of us to live our own independent lives.
We are using a form of housing co-op known as a mutual home ownership society, which means that some of our rent goes towards building up an equity stake in the house (as if we were each paying off our own mortgage). This means that when one of us leaves, they would be entitled to take this money with them.
This type of co-op isn’t currently common in the UK, but we feel that this is a better model in London at the moment because it helps to compensate for the fact that our rent is unfortunatley not cheap, and because it will hopefully put people in a better position to secure decent housing if they have to move on in future.
We’re not currently looking for new members, but we are very happy to provide advice and assistance to anyone thinking about starting their own small housing co-op – please feel free to contact us if you are interested in this.