What is a housing co-operative?

Using the Co-operative organisational structure, a different type of medium density development is proposed for Lot 9524 Dorodo Street, Singleton. As the name suggests, a Co-operative is an organisation that is owned and run jointly by its members, who mutually share the decision making and the profits or benefits.

It is estimated that there are 2.6 million Co-operatives that have a total of over 1 billion members throughout the world today. Whilst humans would not have evolved to where they are today without co-operating, a Co-operation as a formal organisational structure was said to have started in England in 1844. If you want to learn more about the history of the co-operative movement we recommend this video ‘The Story of the Rochdale Pioneers’ by youngcooperatives

A Co-operative organisation uses particular values and principles to guide its operation, which are listed below.

Values: self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, solidarity, honesty, openness, social responsibility and caring for others.

1. Voluntary and open membership
2. Democratic member control
3. Economic participation by members
4. Autonomy and independence
5. Education, training and information
6. Cooperation among cooperatives
7. Concern for community

As a co-operative led project, the proposed Harmony Park housing development will be shaped by these values and principles just like they shape other co-operative housing developments throughout Australia and the world. We will teach you about some of these housing Co-operatives throughout the design process. However as a starting point we recommend you watch this video produced by our friends over at Common Equity, the peak body for housing co-operatives in NSW.

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