The Welsh Government has awarded £149,530 to the Wales Co-operative Centre to support the Co-operative Housing in Wales project, Communities and Children Secretary Carl Sargeant announced today.
Co-operative housing is a model where groups of people collectively own and manage their accommodation, often with support from a registered social landlord. The approach offers affordable housing in a climate where mortgages are difficult to get and house prices too high for many buyers. Co-operative Housing provides another choice of housing and contributes to the Welsh Government’s target of providing 20,000 affordable homes during this term of government.
The funding will help to scale up the project which has already helped to deliver 99 homes across Wales and is supporting the delivery of a further 75 by developing expertise in different co-operative models and providing advice to developers and co-operative groups.
The Cabinet Secretary said:
“This funding will allow the Wales Co-operative Centre to build on the progress they have already made in supporting the development of housing co-operatives in Wales. It is just one of the innovative models of housing the Welsh Government is supporting that will contribute to our ambitious target to deliver 20,000 additional affordable homes in Wales over this term of government.”
Derek Walker, Chief Executive of the Wales Co-operative Centre, said:
“The funding from the Welsh Government is critical to building on the excellent progress that has already been made with co-operative housing here in Wales. It is clear to see that the people and communities across Wales have grasped with enthusiasm the opportunity for co-operative housing.
“The Wales Co-operative Centre will use this funding from the Welsh Government to pay for experts to work with local co-operative housing projects and help them with the range of support they need.”
During this week’s annual TAI Conference held in Cardiff, the Wales Co-operative Centre has also launched a Co-operative Housing Pilot Toolkit, developed with funding from the Welsh Government during the last financial year. It is aimed at helping community groups, housing associations, co-ops, local authorities and others in the initial stages of considering how to develop new co-operative & community-led homes (CCLH). You can download this pilot toolkit by visiting: http://wales.coop/a-guide-to-developing-housing-co-ops/ (external link).
The Co-operative Housing in Wales project has also published its new strategy this month ‘Building homes, creating communities, changing lives’, which outlines how the programme will continue to promote and support an increasing role for co-operative housing in meeting housing need in Wales. The strategy can be viewed at: http://wales.coop/helping-people-set-up-housing-coops/ (external link).