April 15  2013

I have an idea !

Well, actually, I partially nicked it from the Co-op movement. It is already up and running; I just want to do it bigger & better, so to speak.

I want to organise an alternative way of  both renting and buying a home. The idea would be to make it easier and cheaper to either rent or buy, completely bypassing the banks and other traditional mortgage lenders or private landlords.

It will almost certainly be a housing Co-op which would be a non profit making organisation with members having an equal say and equal voting rights in how it is run.

My ambition, ideally, is to set up an organisation which will ultimately attract money from Joe public (internet based crowdfunding ?) to assist it’s funding and it will tap the usual mortgage lenders available as well. As time goes on  the organisation will be able to build up it’s own capital and increasing funding abilities. The general aims are:

– To offer an infinitely more reliable and attractive rental model than the vagaries of the current private landlord  buy to let market, whereby tenants can choose to remain tenants on  exceptionally attractive terms compared  with what is currently available in either the private rental market or the social housing market, or they can become homeowners utilising only their rental history if that is their only source of funding.

– To enable tenants to become homeowners by means of using their rental incomes in an appropriate manner, probably exactly similar to a rare but existing model already set up by a housing co-op.

– To actively expand the organisation as far and wide as possible to make it very widely available – ultimately ideally throughout the country.

– To use marketing and publicity skills to do this in order make the public widely aware  of an alternative method of a more ‘user friendly’ concept of accessing housing, sweeping away much of the expensive nonsense which has been largely generated during the past few decades in both the rental market and the house purchase market.

The housing market, whether buying or renting, was utterly different sixty or seventy years ago. Since then layers of utter nonsense have been imposed on it, making it increasingly expensive to either rent or buy. Most of this expensive, restrictive & thoroughly poisonous nonsense has been driven directly and indirectly by the banks who have been the architects responsible for shaping the entire housing market as it currently stands.

Because of this the cost of buying a house has soared from about three times  a person’s annual income to about ten or eleven times today. Equally, rental costs have soared to unaffordable levels too. The only beneficiaries are really only banks and private landlords. All other classes of home occupiers are disadvantaged and will continue to be so until something changes this.

All this is only likely to get worse until the stranglehold of the banks on the housing market is broken. The only way this can be achieved is to provide the sort of alternative I have in mind, whereby, ultimately, funding for housing will be increasing taken away from the banks and put into the hands of existing homeowners and ‘Joe public’ who will find it attractive to place savings to be used to fund home purchase because their savings will be safer than with banks and return a higher amount of interest on any loans made for home purchase than the banks normally pay to savers.

It becomes possible to understand this can be done simply by imagining a private landlord setting up in business to borrow money to buy homes to rent to people and instead of the profit becoming  owned by the landlord, the profit is used only to expand the business and enable the tenants to both rent on far more attractive terms than elsewhere or to eventually own their own home.

I would wish to explore the possibility of turbo boosting what I have in mind by enrolling high profile help from others. Possibly, for example, certain existing housing trusts, charities and others to be considered in due course.

There are ‘social lenders’ out there who lend at low interest rates for housing purposes. And, interest bearing shares can be marketed in a ‘Community Land Trust’.

Is anyone interested in becoming involved in this ?

Here are some interesting web sites to have a look at.

Leave a comment if you might be interested in becoming involved in any way – either by becoming a member or just helping to organise it.







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  1. Charles Bowers Says:

    this is a copy of that which started late sixties early seventies when the first Housing co operatives were set up by squatters. It proved successful in the beginning but eventually became swallowed up by business. Instead of co-ops, became trusts and charities with large overheads, staff etc., yet still purporting to be socially minded. Bureaucracy and bye laws, etc etc swallowed all well founded principals and morals. I was one of the originals in helping but disillusionment set in for many reasons. It became a personal greed on the part of the participants all wanting as much as they could possibly get. If you are for real,, good luck. I’ll be a part of it for as long as I live if you are honest. Ches

  2. Boz Says:

    How ? Do you want to:

    – become a member

    – rent or buy
    – or or do you want to lend to it by buying interest bearing shares
    – or do you want to just ‘help’

    Any of these options is welcome.

    I am currently looking to find people to become members of the initial ‘steering committee’. Ideally, they would be people who would become actual members.

  3. Joanna Jones Says:

    Wonderfully simple idea. I’m definitely on board with whatever I can do!

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