Co-operative approaches in local government – a quiet revolution
The U.K’s housing crisis and possible solutions were the main focus of the Co-op Party Local Government conference in Birmingham last weekend (24 June 2017). The conference was told that, “a revolution is taking place in local government where increasingly, co-operative approaches are used to shape local economies and services and to put local people in control.”
Two Labour Party Councillors Sean Woodcock and Surinder Dhesi attended the conference at which representatives of the not-for-profit, South Oxfordshire Housing Association, which has 50 properties in Cherwell, explained how they are providing social and affordable housing, as well as shared ownerships, for people struggling to afford housing in the private rental sector.
Councillor Surinder Dhesi said, “Through tenant’s forums and representation on Governing Boards, co-operative housing empowers tenants to be more involved in decision making and improving their environment.”
Councillor Sean Woodcock says, “In the wake of the awful tragedy at Grenfell, concerns are rightly focused on how effectively housing providers engage with and are responsive to their tenants. Co-operative housing offers a real alternative way forward.”