After ten years working together, Oxford Cohousing may finally be making some real progress towards identifying a site, putting in an offer and building our cohousing community. This progress has happened thanks to a grant of £72,000 from Homes England's Community Housing Fund.
We applied last year and received final confirmation in January this year. The money has to be spent before the end of March, unless an extension to the Fund is announced, for which National Cohousing has been busy lobbying.
The money has enabled us to employ a local firm of architects - Transition by Design - who designed our logo - and other experts (including Charles Couzens as Project Manager, who has worked with Bridport Cohousing, and Jimm Reed, financial consultant, who worked with us on earlier bids) to do feasibility work on two sites in Oxford.
This exciting progress means a lot more work for our small core group as we need to look fairly urgently now at the questions of membership (how to grow it), legal structure (we are currently a limited company but we want to be able to keep affordable homes affordable in perpetuity), and allocation of units. Any guidance and ideas from other cohousing groups around these issues is being sought and very welcome.