Swansea Council adopts co-operative housing policy

The new policy allows groups of people to set up their own co-operatives

Swansea City Council has approved a policy to promotes co-operative housing.

Under the Co-operative Housing Policy, agreed at a cabinet meeting of the local authority, future plans for affordable rental or low-cost ownership schemes must take into account granting tenants more of a role of the management of the sites, including by forming a co-operative.

Andrea Lewis, cabinet member for homes and energy on the council, said: “Co-operative housing is about communities having democratic control over decisions about their homes and their neighbourhood.”

She added: “It gives communities the opportunity to come together, making them stronger and achieving more for the benefit of their community.

“The new policy allows groups of people to set up their own co-operatives but also gives the council or a housing association the opportunity to recruit residents to form a group. It also highlights how the council can support these groups and housing associations where they are created.”

In 2016, the Welsh government committed itself to building 20,000 homes. working with Community Housing Cymru and the Welsh Local Government Association. The government also pledged funding for housing schemes managed by a co-operative.

The policy was developed in collaboration with Wales Co-operative Centre and the Confederation of Co-operative Housing (CCH).

Nic Bliss, head of policy at CCH, said: “It is fantastic that Swansea City Council are playing a leading role supporting co-operative housing in Wales. We have worked with their officers on the development of the strategy and we know how keen they are to develop good quality affordable homes through community-led means. We look forward to seeing how the strategy develops in the future.”

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