Winyates is one of five neighbourhood co-operatives supported by Redditch Co-operative Homes. It manages 58 properties, ranging from one-bedroom apartments to family homes. The co-operative was rewarded for its “innovation and excellent work”, in particular the success of its latest development — 20 low-carbon properties which have been completed in the last 14 months.
As well as providing affordable accommodation and helping to address environmental concerns, the properties are a visible demonstration of international co-operation in action.
The properties were made from timber grown by a forestry co-operative in Norway. The houses were then designed in Norway before being shipped to the UK for assembly in Redditch. As part of Redditch Co-operative Homes’ policy of member engagement and involvement, the co-operative’s members — and the people who are now living in the new homes — visited Norway to see the types of properties they’d be living in, to learn more about them, check on their design and to confirm they would be happy to live in them.
Given the feedback from members that the co-operative has received, the new homes are a great success.
The latest homes follow similar developments for Winyates Co-operative of 18 bungalows and 20 houses and the co-operative is awaiting planning permission for a fourth site, its largest so far, with 69 units.
Redditch Co-operative Homes works in partnership with its five co-operatives and the local borough council to provide high-quality, affordable and accountable social housing in Redditch. It is the council’s sole preferred partner for developing new affordable housing on council-owned land and has so far developed more than 200 properties in the town, always with co-operative values and principles at the heart of its work.
Winyates works with the council to promote responsibility in relation to the environment and it is committed to the education of its co-operatives, providing accredited training opportunities for members.
The members run their co-operatives, deciding on everything from the design of properties to who lives in them. Only residents willing to take on the responsibilities of co-operative membership are welcomed.