Becoming A Member

MUCH is currently recruiting new members who want to live in and take an active part in older peoples’ cohousing.

We’re looking for people who share our vision and values and we want as diverse a group of people as possible  to be part of MUCH.

We have designed a process which we hope enables interested people to find out everything they can about cohousing and the current group. The decision about whether to join us will be a shared one and may take some time.

The process below will, we hope, allow everyone to explore how this will work for us all. But we haven’t done this before so we are all learning as we go!

If you are interested please follow this journey and let us know how it goes for you:

First find out as much as you can about cohousing in general and MUCH in particular through reading our website, the UK Cohousing Network website  and other cohousing groups’ websites.

Once you have done that,  get in touch with us if you want to know more on muchmanchester@gmail.comWe invite interested people to meet up informally with a couple of the group, to find out more and to answer your questions.  We will also want to know a bit about you and what attracts you to cohousing. It may take a few weeks to get this organised, so please bear with us.

This first meeting will usually take place in a cafe or other public venue in ‘normal’ times. We can also meet you in a public park, or talk via Zoom, or a phone call, if covid restrictions dictate or if that’s what you prefer.

After this initial meeting if you are still interested we may invite you to a shared meal to meet the whole group, if covid restrictions allow, or perhaps a virtual open meeting over Zoom with more members and prospective members.

Then we will invite you to join one or more of our working groups where we do the background work to take the project forward. We’ll assign you a contact person (“buddy”) who will keep in touch with you and answer your queries as you become involved in the group.

After attending three working group meetings, over a period of several months, your “buddy” will discuss the benefits, commitments and risks of membership with you, and invite you to attend a General Meeting, either in person or over Zoom, as an observer.

You will then have some time to reflect on whether you wish to apply for membership. This is by completing a simple form agreeing to our vision and values and current policies.

If you wish to proceed, you will be invited to an in person or virtual Membership Meeting with current members to discuss your understanding of the commitments and risks of membership. The current members will decide at the next GM whether you are accepted or whether it is thought you need more time to be certain about making the commitment.

All new members will undertake consensus decision making training, and they will pay the membership fee (currently £100 per person).

Potential owner occupiers are required, as part of the membership process, to disclose their finances to ensure they are able to afford the property and can access the required deposit. They will also, over time, contribute a more substantial amount as a Development Loan to MUCH LTD. All existing members have done this. 40% of the Development Loan is payable upon joining.

Our ambition is to offer rental properties and shared ownership options, but we are not there yet. MUCH is negotiating with social housing providers and relevant local authorities to agree ways in which we can do that, but at present we are all owner occupiers who will sell our properties at the point at which we need to release the capital.

Last updated July 2021

…not your ordinary retirement community