Housing is just the beginning

29 March 2012 The 2012 National Housing Co-operatives Conference was held on 8-9 March 2012 to celebrate that housing is just the beginning and that Housing Co-operatives have...

29 March 2012
The 2012 National Housing Co-operatives Conference was held on 8-9 March 2012 to celebrate that housing is just the beginning and that Housing Co-operatives have achieved so much more than that.

The 2012 National Housing Co-operatives Conference was held on 8-9 March 2012 to celebrate that housing is just the beginning and that Housing Co-operatives have achieved so much more than that.

(L to R) John McInerney, General Manager CEHL, Ian McLaren CEO Southeast Housing Co-operative, keynote speakers Mervyn Wilson CEO and Principal of the Co-operatives College UK and Richard O’Leary Director IYC 2012 Secretariat

Common Equity Housing Limited and South East Housing Co-operative Limited partnered with bankmecu to create an opportunity for Housing Co-operative members from around Australia to come together share their stories celebrate their triumphs and mark that 2012 is the International Year of Co-operatives.

The first day of the conference attracted 308 attendees a mix of Housing Co-operative members, housing service professionals, building industry professionals and academics all eager to listen to and learn from the experiences of the guest speakers Mervyn Wilson, Rowan Dowland and Richard O’Leary and also the members of the Housing Co-operatives who volunteered to present on their varied Housing Co-operatives.

The day was uplifting, encouraging and moving at times with the stories of how co-operatives have been able to build communities and create opportunities which otherwise would never have been possible, The way becoming a member of a Housing Co-operative has dramatically and positively changed the lives of members and their families.

We also had the academic rationalization of how the money spent to create a Housing Co-operative has had a substantial and quantitative social return on that initial investment.

The second day of the conference was a bus tour for Housing Co-operative members to see firsthand a number of the different models of housing types and styles which are currently being used by Common Equity Housing Limited.

These included Dandenong Harmony Village a Housing Co-operative for those over 55, and Murundaka Co Housing Community (which is part of the larger Earth Housing Co-op).  Earth is an intentional community sharing concerns about their environmental footprint and are committed to live in a way that reduces their impact.

The two days were very much a celebration of the richness and diversity of housing co-ops in Australia – the Conference motto “Housing is just the beginning” being the catch-cry throughout.

Read more on the CEHL website

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