Housing cooperatives are not-for-profit ‘registered societies’. They allow people to control their own housing, without actually owning it personally. Instead, the members or tenants govern the co-operatives activities. With a fully-mutual par-value co-op such as ours, all tenants are members and all members need to be tenants or prospective tenants.

Housing co-ops facilitate grassroots control over housing, providing rented homes where the tenants are (collectively) their own landlord. The organisation is run according to co-operative principles, giving everyone an equal say and an equal responsibility in the management of housing.

Self-management has the additional benefit of allowing us to provide housing in an affordable way, while also having the autonomy to make improvements not only reactively but also proactively. Finances can be planned with a mind to protect against excessive rent rises while allowing for a long-term approach to maintenance. Should the co-op cease to exist, its assets have to stay within the co-operative movement; they cannot pass to the members or be used to invest outside the co-operative movement – our primary (and legally binding) rules of association ensure that Radical Routes will take over our assets should our co-operative wind up at any point. Thus, by coming together and acting cooperatively, housing remains in mutual ownership.

By setting up a housing co-op, we aim to empower ourselves to take control of one of the most fundamental aspects of our lives and in the process transfer property from private to mutual ownership. We aim to provide a safe and secure environment for people to live in for generations to come.