Published: 25 September 2014
The SouthEast General Manager , Ian McLaren, has provided a brief report on his visit to housing operatives in the UK following his visit August 2014. Between 18-22 August 2014 ian visited five housing co-operatives - Edward Henry Co-operative (london), CDS Co-operative (London), New Cut Housing Co-operative (London), Redditch Co-operative Housing (Redditch) and Rochdale Boroughwide Housing (rochdale).
Housing co-operatives did not have independent directors and, indeed, it was difficult to recruit professionals to serve on boards.
All housing co-operatives struggled with member participation and regarded SEHC participation levels as admirable achievements.
All co-operatives wanted to expand through additional properties but did not know how. There were no capital grants for growth.
The CDS secondary housing co-operative owned 1000 properties that were commercially rented and the income from these properties was used to subsidise housing co-operatives.
As a secondary co-operative, CDS supported a number of primary co-operatives e.g. rent collection, repairs and maintenance and financial reporting.. A list of co-operatives serviced by CDS is attached.
The Rochdale housing co-operative has 14,500 properties and approximately 600 staff.
Councils in the UK have a legal obligation to provide housing for the homeless but there was still homelessness.
A flat rate was charged for all tenants based on the number of bedrooms. A Housing Benefit is provided, however, to all eligible tenants in council, private and community housing which is currently costing a total of 20 billion. This Housing Benefit did not cover the bedroom tax.
2011 housing by type:
Owner occupied 64%
Private rental 18%
Housing Associations 10%
Local Government 8%
In 1981 social housing (local government and housing associations) 29%
Tenants can receive up to 100% of rent from Housing Benefit depending on eligibility as well as service chjarges.
Percentage of tenants receiving Housing Benefit in 2010-2011 by type of renure:
Local authority 65%
Housing Association 60%
Private rental 25%
Social housing rent averages 60% of market rent. There is pressure to increase this to 80% of market rents.
Developers in the UK are required to pay contributions for such things as affordable housing.
Ian also visted the Co-operative College UK and there is a report on his visit at:
You can also view a video of the College visit at http://vimeo.com/105759263.