Info for Housing Association tenants
Are you a Housing Association tenant?
If you are a Housing Association tenant, you have no legal rights to set up a housing co-op, but if this what you and other tenants in your area want to do, you should be able to, perhaps with some perseverance.
Some housing associations are now quite open to the idea of tenants becoming involved in the management of their homes. However, many are not and do very little to encourage and support tenants.
Even amongst those associations that are supportive of their tenants, getting them to agree to allow you to set up a housing co-op may be quite challenging.
Nonetheless, the trade body for the housing association sector, the National Housing Federation, has recently launched a programme called In Business For Neighbourhoods - which theoretically suggests that associations should be working much more closely with communities.
The primary route for setting up a housing co-op in a housing association would be through setting up a tenant management co-op, although whilst there is a legal framework and guidance in the council sector to do this, there isn't in the housing association sector.
Also, again whilst there is funding available for council tenants from Government, there is only a discretionary pot of funding (Community Training & Enabling Grant) available from a Government body called the Housing Corporation. You might or might not be able to get funding from this source to help you set up a TMC.
Further information on how to set up a tenant management co-op in a housing association, alongside a range of information on how to set up community controlled initiatives can be found in a free guide produced by the CCH, in partnership with the Housing Corporation, called Taking Control in your Community. This guide can also be found at http://www.communitiestakingcontrol.org/
The guide also contains a brief guide on how to set up a housing co-op from scratch if you are not actually currently housed by a housing association (challenging but may be possible).