Kindling Housing Co-operative
A project by: Kindling Coop
Working cooperatively is a way of making things equal, fair and empowering for the people involved. Housing cooperatives enable communities, families and individuals to have control over their own housing, in a fairer more affordable way.
We are hoping to raise £10,000 for Kindling Housing Coop to help buy its first house and build a housing coop movement in our city.
Kindling in a nutshell
We are a network of nearly 30 people living in Oxford, worried about the lack of fair and affordable housing in our community. Coops are an element of the solution to the current status quo, so we’ve waded through the swamp of legal and financial barriers to set up a housing cooperative which we’ve called Kindling.
Kindling is now a registered legal entity which aims to buy a house. Six of us (Andy, Han, Marleen, Audrey, Charlie and Miranda) are working on this part of the project: we all currently precariously rent in Oxford, and would like to stay living here so we meet once a week in our own time to make this happen. We are not only determined to collectively buy a first coop house this year, but also to challenge the current unfair and unaffordable housing system, and share our learnings so that other people in and around Oxford and the UK can set up their own housing coops!
We’re all on a steep learning curve on how to make housing fairer and more affordable, so people can have control over their housing without actually needing to own a house (ultimately, the co-op is the owner, not individuals within it).
We’ve been working on adapting an existing model to the realities of Oxford for a little over a year now – it works like this:
- Step 1: People make investments in the coop.
- Step 2: Kindling buys a house! At this point, strong with pledged investments, we could approach an ethical bank for a small mortgage if necessary – our aim is to minimise this, for affordability reasons.
- Step 3: Each month the 6 people living in the house (us!) pay our rent into the house account.
- Step 4: If any, mortgage repayments would come from a portion of the rent accumulating in the house bank account.
- Step 5: After 5/10/20/25 years (depending on the agreed terms of each loan), investors are paid back, with a good rate of interest!
We are currently in the fundraising phase, and have nearly half of our target for investments: very motivating to see that a cooperative solution to the housing crisis clearly can resonate with people!
Many friends and family wanted to make a donation and not an investment though, so here’s where this crowdfund comes in – donations to the project bring us so much closer to making the housing coop work in one of the most expensive housing areas in the country. We believe that if we can buy a house cooperatively in Oxford, you can do it anywhere!
And we want to prove it is possible so that we can help start a revolution of housing cooperatives, providing fair and affordable housing for communities around the UK.
We’re going to shout our little hearts out far and wide if we manage to buy this house, and you’ll have made it happen!
Where will your money go?
Like other housing coops using a similar model, we want to charge an affordable rent (generally Local Housing Allowance rate), but in many parts of the UK, including Oxford, housing is so expensive that this is hard to do.
To make this possible, we’re aiming to raise enough that we can buy the house with a maximum 30% mortgage and pay the rest in investments and donations, like yours. Your money will go straight to the cost of the house – which will be owned by the coop forever! This means that your money will have helped provide a community house, dedicated to fair and affordable housing in Oxford for the rest of its life. That house will be truly loved and cherished by the Oxford community and your donation will be a brick in the foundations of a housing coop movement that could revolutionise the way we do housing in the UK!
Some cool little gifts as tokens of our appreciation for your support are on the right – Check’em out!
Most importantly, you will be part of a change for the better – your name will forever be part of our community.
If you would like to find us, talk to us, support us
We welcome any message, encouragement, and advice. The more of us there are, the more likely we are to create that critical mass we need to tip the balance to a fairer system. You can find and follow us in all the right places:
- web: kindlingcoop.org
- Tweetosphere: @kindlingcoop
Help us succeed, spread the word!
This is probably the most important to Kindling: word-of-mouth is what communities are made out of, and if your networks can become ours, we will build Rome in a day!
You do not need to have money to help us succeed. Talk about Kindling over tea, a beer, at work, among friends and family. Freely download our investor pack, pass it on, remember our logo, doodle it or draw our name on a public bench…
Our movement is yours, thank you for helping us make it happen.