Update 13th June 2020
We’re sorry it’s been so long since the last update but things are moving fast and it’s now becoming important that anyone interested in joining a cohousing scheme in Oxford gets in touch with us.
To facilitate that, we are organising an Open Meeting, by Zoom, for Saturday 20th June at 12pm. Please get in touch if you want to join the meeting. We will send the Zoom invitation on the day before the meeting to all those who have expressed interest and given us their email address.
Our project team (see the last update below for who they are) have been working closely with us, the Cohousing Core Group, to make progress on two sites. Two pre-planning applications were submitted in April, and two meetings have been held with city planners to discuss these applications. The Cohousing Group has received the written reports of these meetings and held debriefing meetings with our architects (Transition by Design). Our financial expert is crunching numbers to determine whether the sites are viable for us, and whether we can start talking to the site owners. Discussing with our project team about numbers and styles of houses, and what materials to use, and bike parks, and bin stores, is all very exciting and makes us feel as though finally our project is going to happen. It is still a long journey but becoming a member at this stage is important, as we want to get to know our fellow cohousers and develop our community well before we move in. So, we are hoping to hear from people wanting to become members or associate members. Please get in touch and join the virtual meeting on 20th June.
News update, 22th March 2020
Progress and Open Meetings
Our cohousing dream is developing in the right direction.
Thanks to a government grant from Homes England, we are moving fast, with our team of experts, to draw up outline plans on two possible sites for our project, and submit pre-planning applications for both sites to the city council. Everyone is working hard to spend our grant before the Community Housing Fund ends on 31 March, as we are still waiting to hear whether more money will be made available in the new financial year. Obviously this decision is not top of the government’s priority right now. And, obviously, we’ve been thinking about how the current health scare is going to affect our project. We anticipate that things will slow down, which will be frustrating for us, but of course we understand and we will have to be patient. The wonderful response by many communities in Oxford who are coming together to support each other and anyone vulnerable in their neighbourhood demonstrates perfectly the concepts that underpin a cohousing scheme. As residents of cohousing, we would be part of a community whose values are good neighbourliness, mutual support and sharing of resources.
We have decided to cancel our monthly Open Meetings until further notice. But don’t let this put you off from finding out more about our project. Please get in touch via this website. Your email will be responded to and you will be invited to talk to one of our members on the phone. We want to hear from you as we grow our membership in anticipation that our cohousing dream is finally turning into reality.
Exciting progress at last!
We have been awarded a government grant by Homes England to do feasibility work on two sites in Oxford on which to build our cohousing community. We applied for a grant last year and received confirmation of the award in January this year. We have to spend the money before the end of March, unless the grant fund is extended by government, for which we, and other cohousing groups, have been 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 for land) 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.
We will be holding more frequent public meetings and updating this website on a weekly basis to keep everyone informed of our progress.
What is Oxford CoHousing?
Oxford CoHousing is a group of people who wish to build/live in an ‘intentional community’, within the ring-road. We hope to build a community of mixed dwellings and tenures, of between 20-40 units, for any age or stage of life, with shared facilities to encourage neighbourliness and mutual support (What is CoHousing).
The group was founded 10 years ago and consists of a core group – which is responsible for the day to day running of the organisation, and members and associate members.
We are a member of Homes for Oxford.
Our next meetingSaturday 20th June at 12pm, via zoom.
Please get in touch if you want to join the meeting. We will send the Zoom invitation on the day before the meeting to all those who have expressed interest and given us their email address.