Long term renting possibilities at Lancaster cohousing
From: Fiona Frank (fionafrankgmail.com)
Date: Fri, 30 Apr 2021 23:39:20 -0700 (PDT)
Hi cohousing peeps

I’m very proud to say that at Lancaster Cohousing in the north west of the
U.K. a group of members has just lent some money to the cohousing company
which has used it to buy a flat which was being sold by a member . We will
be renting it on a long term basis and have established a set of criteria
for choosing a tenant, and a small group who are managing the process.

It started with an idea about three years ago - marrying two problems -
people with some savings looking for local ethical ways to invest, and our
community wanting more young energetic members who weren’t in a position to
buy.  Up till now we have had renters but they have only been able to stay
short term depending on individual members moving out and renting their
homes short term till they were sold .

At the same time, my mum died and left me some money and I used some of it
to buy another ground floor one bed flat - with the idea that I might down
size into it from my 2 bed house when I’m older.. in the meantime it’s on a
long term rental to a resident who had already moved twice within the
community to be able to stay here.

And in unrelated incidents, one couple have just moved within the community
and are renting  their former house out on a long term basis to a current
member family - that family has rented a small flat here  for three years
but have had a baby so need more space ...
and another couple who’s lived here tor 3 years have bought  a second house
here as a long term investment, with a mortgage,  and will be renting it
out long term.

So from the position of only having occasional randomly available short
term rentals - which have brought us fab young energetic members over the
years - singles, couples and families - we’re now in a position to offer
four long term rentals. It’s all brand new and we don’t know what the
turnover will be - presumably very slow ! But still very exciting . And a
great way for people with money to invest, to think about how to use your
money to make real change in your own neighbourhood, rather than buying
shares in faceless non ecological companies or keeping it in banks who
don’t tell you what they invest in.

Obviously the flat purchase was a long and difficult journey taking many
GMs and lots of discussion, community conversations, arguments and tears.
And at tenant choice time there’ll always be dissent I’m imagining . We
only completed the purchase at the end of March this year. But it’s an
exciting and I think quite revolutionary development within a cohousing
project which didn’t include rentals or ‘affordable’ options in the initial
build.

Best wishes
Fiona at Lancaster cohousing U.K.
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