Feb 19, 2013

Co-operatives: an answer to affordable housing?

With increasing pressure on policymakers to find creative solutions to the housing affordability crisis, more consideration should be given to co-operatives. ANU student Farz Edraki is glad he's part of one.

Australia is one of the most unaffordable places to live in the world. And with limited affordable housing options, it’s renters who suffer the most.

Enter housing co-operatives. Democratically run, a housing co-operative is managed by its residents, who take on the responsibility for its operation. My experience as a member of a housing co-op, at least, is they work.

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3 thoughts on “Co-operatives: an answer to affordable housing?

  1. Gavin Moodie

    Nice piece.

    Former Victorian Labor minister Race Mathews is a vigorous advocate of co operatives.

    I would have written ‘a greater degree of control’ as ‘more control’.

  2. michael r james

    I would be inclined to agree with Gavin Moodie, except that this article has left it a bit opaque exactly what these co-operatives are and how they work. It has taken me at least 20 minutes chasing some of the links given (which are just links to links to pdfs). Here are the relevant bits:

    [3.4 These developments were predominantly in the form of Public Private Partnerships (PPP) and were typically Build Own Operate Transfer (BOOT) projects where institutions entered into a contract with a developer/operator for development of development and provision of student accommodation for a set period of time on land owned by the institution involved. At the end of the set term, the facilities were transferred back to the institution. The attraction of this option was institutions, being land-rich, with high market demand, but limited in capital or access to capital.
    3.5 This model was effective until the onset of the global financial crisis in 2008
    made such projects problematic, due to limited finance, private organisation
    unwillingness to accept long term commitment, and high initial costs associated with a project establishment and impact on development returns.
    3.6 Newer developments have generated options for private developers where
    accommodation is developed, primarily off-campus, procured with lead finance borrowing but often based on strata title to ensure access to finance and limit long-term equity, relying on larger unit size and ensuring future potential for sale of equity in developments.]

  3. AR

    Co-operatives?? housing co-operatives?!FFS! wot happened to the 60s? And the 1860?
    Not to mention every Quaker/Shaker/Digger attempt for centuries.
    Yet, always, as soon as people get something to own their heart changes.

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