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Welcome to Green Wood Housing Co-operative in Leeds

Green Wood is a housing co-operative in Leeds. We were established as a co-operative in 2018, and the members moved into our house in January 2019. We own a seven bedroom house in the Chapeltown/Chapel Allerton area.

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We're Recruiting!

We've got four bedrooms coming up in our house from July/August 2024.

The house is spacious and (we think!) beautiful, and all rooms are a good size and include basic furnishings. We’re a friendly and sociable house, eating together and having friends over, and aiming to be fairly clean and tidy. 

 

Slightly different to normal co-op recruitment (long term, fully mutual membership)... we’re able to offer medium term tenancies (not full membership) for between 3-12 months; you can read more and see photos here!

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Our Vision

We are united by a goal to create a secure, affordable, communal, low-impact and collectively managed home. Over the last 18 months, we have been taking a particular focus on how we can realize this in a way that benefits broader communities. We seek to understand how we can maintain sound finances whilst also making the benefits of collective property ownership available to as many people as possible. Recently, we have been engaged in various forms of collective education, themes have included anti-oppression, as well as particular topics that co-op members are passionate about (including radical midwifery, the Kurdistan Freedom Movement and composting). We’re exploring how the physical and people resources at Green Wood can both feed and be fed by our participation in wider movements for social change.

What is a housing coop?

Housing co-operatives are set up to allow people to collectively control their housing situation without the need to personally own property. 

Our co-op is based in common ownership: all our “assets” (mainly our house, plus things like white goods) are owned by Green Wood as an organisation, rather than the individuals who are the current co-op members. No individual can sell 'their bit' because it is indivisible and we own it in common with everyone else. Unlike some cohousing models, no member of Green Wood owns or part-owns our house; instead, we all have a role in its governance.

All co-operatives are governed by their members and each member has an equal say in the decision-making process. Green Wood is a fully mutual housing co-op, meaning that all tenants are members and all members are tenants, which ensures that occupants share an equal responsibility in the management of their home. Each member pays rent on their room, but instead of the money going to a landlord, the money goes directly to pay back the mortgage and on essential house expenses. Once the mortgage is paid off in around 35 years time, we can decide where to direct our rent for maximum positive social impact. We hold regular meetings to make collective decisions about the house, how we live in it together, and how we organise areas of work including financial management, DIY/repairs, and governance.

Housing co-operatives in common ownership contribute to the transfer of property out of the private housing market whilst creating an affordable commonly owned asset, even after the original members have left. It also means that should the co-op ever cease to exist, its assets would stay within the co-operative movement instead of going into private hands. 

Whilst by no means the only solution to the ongoing housing crisis in Britain, we believe housing co-ops are a vital part of broader social movements striving for a more just society.

You can read more about housing co-ops here.

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