Here at Manchester Urban Co-Housing (MUCH) we have had a busy year. We’ve continued to make connections with other cohousing and community-led housing groups, to meet with local authority councillors and officers, and we have renewed our discussions with our partner housing association too. We’re also pleased to announce that we now have a Facebook & Twitter presence @muchmanchester.
Manchester is catching up with other parts of the country in learning about community-led housing and we have attended some events leading up to the launch of the Manchester Community Led Housing Hub. Councillors and housing officers are also keen to support this growing movement and want to see three affordable schemes up and running in 2019. However, although we want to provide some homes for social rent, we’re discussing how we might be able to fit the affordable homes criteria.
Like many other groups, we have applied to Homes England for Community Housing Fund funding and are waiting to hear whether we have been successful. In the meantime we have been able to access some funding from Greater Manchester for a workshop to explore the different legal forms that might be most appropriate for us, and are now customising a set of Mems & Arts for our new company. We have also obtained funding to run a consensus decision making training session since it’s a while since the last consensus training session took place and the newest members haven’t yet received training.
Speaking of members, we’re still looking for more members who share our vision and who are willing to take a full part in making the dream come true. We feel that we’ll be ready to hit the ground running when we find a suitable site, but that is still proving to be a real challenge. We continue to follow up leads, and record our site assessments. We want to be close to the facilities that will allow us to continue to live active lives, or at least close to good public transport.
Sadly so far nothing of the right size, in the right location, that is actually for sale, at the right price has been found. But we’re optimistic that something will turn up soon. Maybe 2019 is the year…