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 Post subject: Housing & Building Co-OPs
PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2008 1:07 am 
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Lets focus the mind. I think there is great merit in this idea.

fishfoodie wrote:
Open Window wrote:
What would people this of Housing Co-Ops coming together to build modern passive buildings, maybe urban towers with generous room all not for profit?

Ye all seem to share a similar intention. Higher chance of getting what you want if you follow this route. I feel it was a lot more common in the olden days than people think! I am not sure law is very mature in this respect as it is in EU but surely people could prempt it with solid and mature agreements using existing co-op legalities.


I wasn't thinking that far ahead, I still envisioned 'Individuals' building their homes, but on serviced sites as opposed to one-off. But your proposal has all kinds of merits I hadn't thought to, for one there's the potential to share costs & get bulk rates from a supplier/builder because you can guarantee him a decent amount of work. Sadly my experiences are that the Irish are very hard to organise to achieve things like this without a state framework. The words 'cats' & 'herding' come to mind.


Its not the done thing these last few decades but as I write I type it from a house one of 8 houses that was built in the 50's by a small group of friends. That was 3 generations ago. its purely conincidental that I rent this place now. Its a plain as you are Semi-D.

One thing that the PIN has demonstrated is shared intention can produce results.

It is obvious there is a good mix of abilites on the property pin for exaple and I know such a mix of people are capable using their exisiting skills attained in industriy for personal and wider benefit with better reults. In a legal "Co-Op" format, business as you like for shared social needs. remivng teh profit element means you could probbaly double or triple your aspirations. You are the builder home owner.

You have the choice of Sole Trader, Liited COmpany, Partner Ship and Co-OP. So the legal framework .

For arguemtns sake there is not site cost for a moment.

Lets say your average person has the earning capability to fund a 2500 sq ft home, Imagine what the collective buying and orginisational power of 10 or 20 people could do if they came together mutually to build. Its not fantasy, in fact the building socities whom loan mortages to home buyers started out this way a long time ago.

Remove the profit and get to the point. A home you love and could see generation living in for a long long time and that doens't destory the palce you live in. There seems to be more of a culture of Housing Co-Ops in the UK and the rest of Europe but sadly as is the rental sector shabby and immature so is this end.

I would hope that all the alternative will be more than possible post boom.

Now that we've seen what industry can achieve and that is collapse its time to look at the alternatives with hindsight and imagination as our guide.

My idea would be to see more "Form To Build Co-op's" form and support. It would be useful if there was a good guide or manual as a starting point and I bet we could find one from our European cousins.

There is nothing new in this its just that its not really seen as a serious option and I think its one f the most interesting.

The main issue is "the Land".

There is only one high profile example I know of and that is thevillage.ie but from what I have heard there may be some lesson to learn from that already and its not finished AFAIK. I also don't think you need to even go this far to do what I am talking about.

Heres one approach, find some reasonable sized existing structure.
It really doesn't have to be that big and propose a Co-Op design that includes "up" as its primary feature. So you can build close to town or city. All you need is the right sub contractor who can output the design.

Something tells me there will be plenty looking for work.

So now that I've opened this topic again I'd appreciate all contributions as to how people think this can be achieved. I would prefer not to hear "it will never work in Ireland". People said we would never have a bubble or property crash like ;)

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Last edited by Open Window on Mon May 19, 2008 12:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2008 1:28 am 
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http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2005 ... es.housing

Quote:
Mr Prescott underlined the government's frustration at the cost of housing, in spite of prices dipping slightly on the open market, saying: "We've got interest rates low, inflation low, why the hell [is the price of building a house] going up when in other countries it only moves at the rate of inflation? It is unacceptable that prices have been going up at 10 times the rate of inflation, more than that."

The cut-price homes could be achieved by the government retaining the ownership of sites, to bring construction costs down, and inviting bids from developers. Ministers say some builders are already showing interest. The strategy will be partly aimed at people on lower incomes living in around 1m properties provided by government-funded housing associations, now the only builders of social homes for renting.



http://www.azobuild.com/news.asp?newsID=1335
Quote:
Announcing the nine finalists, Deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott said, "When I first questioned the high costs of construction in the UK and suggested quality, affordable homes could be designed for around £60,000, cynics were queuing up to say it could not be done. There has been an overwhelming response to what is a tough challenge, and I congratulate the nine winners who have shown it can be achieved.


Some of the designs for above are on this site:
http://www.designformanufacture.info/


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 Post subject: Housing & Building Co-OPs
PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2008 9:41 am 
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I seen to remember a group of around 34 couples building houses in Shankhill about 25 to 30 years ago. It is either Corbawn drive or Seafield. Perhaps someone who was involved is still there. I remember the builder went bust and they had to finish the houses themselves but the end result was great.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2008 9:27 pm 
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Back in the mid/late 90s in Dublin I was (very) peripherally involved with a group who were attempting to create an ecologically and socially sound housing coop in the city. While it didn't come to fruitition, many of those involved in went on to set up the eco village taking shape in Cloughjordan in Tipperary. I still think it's a great idea - dififcult to implement yes, but very worthwhile. Raising cash to buy land to build something sustainable in the city limits would be very difficult for an individual, but possible for a group. Are you contemplating it in some form?


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PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2008 9:38 pm 
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A friend did that some two years ago (although in a diffefnet country) - and I do like they idea, tbh. Instead of buying some standard, trivial, un-inspiring semi-d off the peg you get a couple of people, some ideas and an Architect open to this and build your own thing.

I would do the same immediately here in Dublin, you should be able to find a site that is usuable for a couple of good size houses and gardens.

There is I think not much chance for building your own single house (if you don't win the lottery) as you might not be able to afford the land. Two years ago I thought the same even if you are 3 or 4 families trying to do this but as times change maybe this changes as well.


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PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2008 9:42 pm 
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Which country was that? Denmark, Germany and Canada all seem to have a lot of experience with this sort of thing. I think the key thing is finding a group of people that shares similar goals and trusts one another. Part of the issue with the co housing scheme in Dublin was the desire to find consensus at all times - for a group of 20 or so, that's a tall order...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2008 9:51 pm 
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Sitting Tight wrote:
Which country was that?


Austria.

Sitting Tight wrote:
for a group of 20 or so, that's a tall order..


Not sure if I would try with such a large group, I would merely think of say 4, 5 houses at max or so which means same number of families (hence 8 to 10 people). Difficult enough to have 10 people to agree, never mind 20.

And I fully agree with
Sitting Tight wrote:
key thing is finding a group of people that shares similar goals and trusts one another


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2008 9:58 am 
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I think to start it takes a bit of leadership.

Find a site, estimate a budget and have an outlined plan.

Then ask who wants in?
(build it and they will come?)


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 Post subject: Housing & Building Co-OPs
PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2008 10:05 am 
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I would be interested in exploring the idea. I did hear some years ago that IKEA were selling 4, 6 or even 8 unit blocks in kit form complete with kitchens, bathrooms etc. It might be worth looking at as a jumping off point.

The difficult part would be the site.


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PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2008 11:52 am 
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I'm no expert on this, but in a lot of countries, I believe that owner groups can exercise control over disposal and letting of individual properties (like the condos and retirement campuses in the US where the residents can veto prospective owners/tennants). As far as I know, Bunreacht na hEireann enshrines absolute property rights here, making this type of control impossible, which does increase the trust requirement. Who's to say in a couple of years that a couple of partipants won't up and leave and simply sell to the LC, who will then let them out to students or convert them to a hotel 8)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2008 4:27 pm 
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Have you seen the eco village plans for Cloughjordan? Here's the website:

http://www.thevillage.ie/index.php?opti ... e&Itemid=1

It all sounds very nice, but I'd be a bit afraid of the forced community aspect, with all the supposedly like-minded individuals living on the same patch. They swear it won't be like that, but I bet it will.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 5:23 pm 
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More info on the concept at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cohousing, plus some videos.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2008 10:28 am 
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There is obvious potential if Local Authorities stop taking financial contributions in lieu of 20% of greenfield developments

Local Authorities could make low cost sites available to persons who qualify for affordable houses and allow them to build themselves

Until the Government stops supporting a dear Building Land Policy it is pie in the sky

Land owners treat building land or potential building land as Gold since it costs nothing to hold it and hoard it.

Tax zoned land until it is developed and there will be lots of land available.

As for organising a development it is quite easy. The big problem is whittling down the land price, particularly near a big urban area.

Until the cohort of people who want cheaper property start fielding candidates in the local elections their calls will not be heeded.

There is a huge lobby of vested interests out there who want to support property prices including our Taoiseach


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2008 10:37 am 
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kc wrote:
Have you seen the eco village plans for Cloughjordan? Here's the website:

http://www.thevillage.ie/index.php?opti ... e&Itemid=1

It all sounds very nice, but I'd be a bit afraid of the forced community aspect, with all the supposedly like-minded individuals living on the same patch. They swear it won't be like that, but I bet it will.


Unfortunate I've heard its been somewhat hijakced by those with money so to speak. This owever is the opionion of a person involved early on who has now walked away from buying a site.

Co-Ops ar a good idea, the semi-d I currenlty live in was in fact built in the 60's as a mini co-op in Dublin to boot.

Its a good idea and it doesn't have to be a forced community. If peopel come together to build then you can't say it was forced, there id a huge degree of freewill there.

Don't forget either old Bertie Bones wanted us to become a bit mre community minded not so long ago and if you weren't up for it you could get your cyanide pills in the post thank you very much.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2008 11:03 am 
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I have seen more than one report on just this thing. In the UK I recall. You need to be careful and lay everything out before hand and even then fallouts can occur. Remember, these people will be your neighbours.


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