How Feasible is a New Generation of Housing Co-operatives in Australia?

cohousingaustraliaCohousing, Community, Housing, Politics and activism, Sustainable Neighbourhoods / Streets

In this study we investigate whether it is feasible today for a non-subsidised co-operative model of housing to deliver affordable and secure tenure housing for moderate income workers. A segment of our society who are increasingly priced out of ownership throughout great swathes of urban and regional Australia.

With a particular focus on “missing middle” income cohorts who are not able to access social and affordable housing, or afford premium Build To Rent, we look at how “limited equity” housing co-operatives, which work successfully throughout Europe in cities like Zurich, and Vienna, as well as North America in cities like Toronto and New York, could be adopted as an affordable housing solution in an Australian context.

We also explore the cost of including cohousing features such as common rooms for collaborative activities. This helps explore the question of the dollar value we place on community spaces in an inner city urban environment and who should foot the bill?

We hope the findings and questions posed through this work spark a conversation about how we can practically create a new housing solution (a “third way” or “middle ground” between ownership and rental) for this critical and increasingly financially stressed segment of Australian society.

Special thanks to collaborators Nicola Foxworthy, Katherine Sundermann, Andy Fergus, Charbel Youssef, Cohousing Australia and Sydney Cohousing. This report was made possible by the Business Council of Co-operatives & Mutuals (BCCM) via a Bunya Fund grant.

Download the report