About ChaCo

What’s the big idea?

To create community friendly housing in inner city Leeds.

But what is cohousing?

According to the UK cohousing Network website

Cohousing is a way of living which brings individuals and families together in groups to share common aims and activities while also enjoying their own self-contained accommodation and personal space.

Cohousing communities are a means of compensating for the alienating effects of modern life where neighbours don’t recognise each other and where day-to-day collaboration is minimal. They offer particular benefits for children in terms of secure play-space and shared activities with their peers. Older people can also find companionship and mutual support in such communities.

The main features of cohousing communities are:

  • They are set up and run by their members for mutual benefit
  • Members are consciously committed to living as a community
  • Developments are designed to encourage social contact and a sense of neighbourhood among members.
  • Common space facilitates shared activities like community meals and other amenities like laundries, heating systems, guest rooms, transport, etc may be shared

The details

It’s early days yet, and there’s a lot of issues that need resolving before our dream becomes our new address. These issues can be grouped under four main headings…

  • Ethos: What’s driving us? What are our shared values? And how many of these need to be written into the rules and regulations?
  • Design: How do our values translate to bricks and mortar (or wood and straw bales)? How much space do we allocate for: private use? common use? growing things? cars? How green can we get?
  • People: Who’s involved? Who are we looking for? How diverse is this community likely to be?
  • Money: What on earth is it all going to cost? How are we expecting to finance it?

You’ll find each of these areas explored in the pages of this website. And if you’d like to help us think through the issues – or maybe fancy signing up for some living space – we’d love to hear from you. Email or call Hannah on 07899 818343.

Fabian Hamilton MP,
Leeds Northeast


I sincerely hope that Leeds City Council will play its part in supporting this exciting and innovative housing development that is proposed here in Chapeltown, an area where more accommodation is really needed. Community-led development can breathe new life into our city and give hope to those who need decent housing.

Some useful links