Members of six of the city’s established housing co-operatives kindly gave up their time on a sunny Saturday to welcome visitors into their homes as part of our bus tour on 30 June.
On 30 June we visited Rosa Bridge, Hornbeam, Bug, Two Piers, Dryad and Brighton Rock Housing Co-ops. The tour showed the variety of Brighton & Hove’s co-ops, from Two Piers’ Christchurch building, with 11 flats, to co-ops like Rosa Bridge and Bug which are home to a small group of people. We also saw co-ops who owned their houses and others who worked with a housing association, such as Dryad and Brighton Rock. Some co-ops were central, such as Rosa Bridge and Two Piers, whereas others were on the outskirts of the city, like Hornbeam and Dryad.
Co-operatives follow seven principles, including informing people about the benefits of co-operation, co-operating with the wider movement and acting with concern for the wider community. As part of the tour local co-ops were able to put all of these into action.
The tour was a great way for people interested in and setting up their own co-ops to find out what it’s like once you’ve moved in and how existing co-ops deal with challenges. All the co-op members who showed us around were open and honest, and learning from their experience was valuable.
Thanks to all the welcoming co-ops who let us into their homes as part of the tour. Also to the Big Lemon for driving us around.
More on how to set up a housing co-operative:
BHCLT video: A talk from Helen Bartlett of Rosa Bridge
Radical Routes ‘how to’ book [pdf]