Are there any places left?

annotated view of ChaCo

There’s no quick answer to this question! Altogether we’re building 29 new homes plus the all-imporant common space. Some of the spaces have already been allocated to the Full Members of ChaCo. We also have a number of Prospective Members interested in the remaining spaces. It works like this…

If you think you’d like to live in this exciting new community-led housing development, you need to become a member of Chapeltown Cohousing Ltd – our housing cooperative. This applies to every adult living at ChaCo, and joining up usually takes at least 4 months: time for us to get to know each other and time for you to get stuck in to the life and work of the community.

ChaCo Prospective Members (PMs) are people who have said they’d like to spend time getting to know us in order to find out if ChaCo is for them. Applying for Prospective Membership is fairly easy, provided we think there’s a reasonable chance that there’ll be a suitable unit available when the time comes – but there’s no guarantee that this will be the case.

After 6 months of eating and chatting at social events, decision-making at Members’ Meetings, and working in small groups to help make ChaCo happen, a Prospective Member can then apply for Full Membership. If the existing ChaCo members feel the applicant would fit well in the community and be able to meet the necessary financial commitment, the PM then becomes an FM and is allocated one of the remaining units.

Inevitably, of course, some PMs decide that ChaCo is not for them – or maybe their circumstances change. So in order to make sure that we’ll have enough Full Member households by the time we need to start building, we take on a few more PMs than we have accommodation for, and hope that we end up with about the right number of households at the end of the process. It’s not an ideal solution, and we realise that the uncertainty for PMs can be challenging, to say the least.

Current availability of accommodation

The final column shows the number of currently unallocated spaces. Figures in red indicate oversubscribed units. FM = Full Member, PM = Prospective Member.

Housing type Quantity Allocated to FMs Wanted by PMs Availability
1 room in shared house of 5 5 1 0 4
1-bed flat 8 5 6 -3
2-bed small duplex 3 3 0 0
2-bed large duplex 4 4 0 0
3-bed duplex 4 1 4 -1
3-bed house 4 4 0 0
4-bed house 5 4 3 -2
TOTALS 33 places 22 FM households 13 PM households  

There are a number of factors that might affect someone’s chances of getting a place, including:

  • the current availability of their preferred type of accommodation
  • ChaCo’s need to bring in enough capital to make the project viable (including paying for the construction of the fully rented units and common house)
  • ChaCo’s allocation targets relating to: Chapeltown connection, age, income, (dis)ability, ethnicity, etc
  • (for car owners) the current availability of car parking spaces