Can anyone help the UK Cohousing Network?
From: Sarah Berger (sarahannebergergooglemail.com)
Date: Fri, 8 Aug 2008 07:56:29 -0700 (PDT)
Three of us from the UK met several developers at the US Cohousing Association 
conference in Boston last month and learnt a lot about the developer-led model 
of building cohousing.  I am project coordinator of the UK Cohousing Network 
and any advice you could give our fledgling UK Cohousing Network would be very 
valuable. If you have experience of this approach we would really like to hear 
from you.

The UK Network is in discussions with a development company called the Ethical 
Property Company (www.ethicalpropertycompany.co.uk ) who are considering 
piloting a partnership with a cohousing group in England with a view to working 
with the Network to roll out the development partnership model to up to 5 
further cohousing projects if the pilot is successful. The Network would be 
involved in developing good practice guidelines, faciltation and evaluation. 
This could mean a step change for cohousing in the UK.

We need to decide whether to follow the Cohousing Partners LLC model of setting 
up a joint venture company with the cohousing group or whether to follow Eco 
Housing Corporation's approach in which the developer takes the lead. Are there 
people out there who could let us know what they see as the main advantages and 
disadvantages of method used by the Eco Housing Corporation?
  a.. Did it mean the group felt less empowered and less engaged? 
  b.. How early did the group get involved in influencing design and was it 
enough? 
  c.. Did the no pain - no gain principle operate .ie. if the development 
process was quicker and smoother and therefore the group suffered less  did it 
mean group cohesion was weaker after move- in ? 
  d.. I presume the developer took the main financial risk during development. 
If so, were there any disadvantages for any of the parties with this model? 
Any other tips would be very gratefully received. Thanking you in anticipation.

Best wishes

Sarah Berger
Project Manager
UK Cohousing Network
The Community Project, 
15 Laughton Lodge, 
East Sussex, BN8 6BY
01323 815727 ; 07754 596424

sarahberger [at] cohousing.org.uk
www.cohousing.org.uk



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