What is Animate Cohousing?
Animate Cohousing will create community owned homes in an existing neighbourhood (maybe more than one) in Oxford. We will do this by gradually purchasing adjacent houses and redeveloping them to provide well-designed cohousing units with shared spaces.
- Animate is a Community Interest Company set up in March 2017 for the benefit of the community with any surplus used for its social mission and an asset lock. It is democratically controlled by members, not-for-profit and not for personal or speculative gain.
- Animate is a Community Land Trust (CLT): A CLT is a community-led organisation that provides land, homes and other assets to meet the long-term needs of its community.
- Animate is a cohousing project where each household will have a private home but residents also come together in shared spaces and activities.
- Animate operates on co-operative principles including voluntary and open membership and democratic member control.
What will it do?
Animate Cohousing hopes to provide homes and build thriving neighbourhoods in Oxford where many more homes of decent quality and reasonable cost are desperately needed. Development at Animate Cohousing will be gradual as homes come up for sale and finance is available for purchase. The property that we buy will remain in community ownership in perpetuity, asset locked so that it will never return to the private market. We will contribute to the diversity of housing that people in Oxford need from single eco-pods to family homes. Member control will ensure that it develops in ways that the residents want. Each project may eventually include up to 30 homes housing around 75 people.
Animate Cohousing will actively encourage shared resources, mutual support, a healthy and safe setting, with community ownership where possible and negotiated shared space such as gardens. Animate will benefit the whole neighbourhood through access to the shared spaces and activities and from creating a thriving, neighbourly community.
Our vision is that over 20 years Animate Cohousing will transform a city block (and maybe more than one), providing beautiful and sustainable spaces to live, work and play. The neighbourhood will have a far greater degree of mutual support, shared space and shared resources than is typical. It will provide a vibrant setting in which people of all ages, stages, interests and backgrounds who live in it can thrive. It will be an environment that is healthy for both people and wildlife.
Some key aims
We would like Animate to be:
- Pioneering: creating an evolving community-owned and community-led organisation that will shape whole neighbourhoods for decades and even centuries to come.
- Engaging: communicating and involving people in co-creation of each neighbourhood.
- Sharing: re-imagining shared use of space and resources, setting up sharing schemes and negotiate use of the shared garden areas
- Self-Managing: with democratic member control and tenant self-management
- Experimental: trialling high spec eco-homes, tiny homes and self-build methods plus the planning reforms that enable them, in order to provide good quality and lower cost accommodation.
What difference will it make?
Decent homes. Rent is increasingly unaffordable in Oxford even for those in work. In Animate Cohousing well-designed compact housing and shared amenities will lower living costs and offer enhanced security of tenure.
Happy families. Children will enjoy shared play space and families with young children will have support from neighbours at a different life stage.
Less risk of people feeling isolated. People will be involved, know their neighbours, share their skills and enjoy a high degree of mutual support.
Local jobs. Animate Cohousing will employ local people where possible for administration and maintenance so as to keep money circulating within the local economy.
Thriving neighbourhood/s. Animate will be a community anchor organisation, supporting other activities and projects such as time banking and neighbourhood parties.
To get involved
The next open meeting will be a ‘test space’ workshop to see what ideas are out there for how to put this ideas into practice. If you are interested please email fiona at animatecohousing.com. Date likely to be Thursday 22 June 7:30-9pm. Venue tbc.