There are three stages to becoming a Full Member of ChaCo and securing a home in this community. It’s a process designed to help you and us get to know each other well and understand whether you’re suited to collaborative living.
Friends of ChaCo
This is your starting point. Anyone can become a Friend of ChaCo – no charge and no commitments. All it means is that we add you to our mailing list and send you invitations to occasional socials. You can sign up here.
Prospective Members are people who are seriously interested in living in the ChaCo community. They have an opportunity to be involved in order to decide if it is suitable for them. After 6 months they may then be considered for Full Membership. Only Prospective Members can become Full Members and live in ChaCo.
The first steps in becoming a Prospective Member are:
- Sign up as a Friend (see above)
- Come along to one of our socials.
- Tell us that you’re interested in joining.
We’ll add you to our “Interested” list and – taking into account our Allocations Policy – if it looks possible that there might eventually be suitable accommodation available for you, we’ll appoint one of our members to be your Buddy, to guide you through the Prospective Membership application process.
Prospective Members need to sign up to ChaCo’s values (see box), and will usually be welcome to participate in ChaCo business meetings and working groups, subject to the agreement of the facilitator(s), but they may not block proposals. You’ll be encouraged to get involved as much as possible in what we’re doing, so that we get to know each other well.
It’s possible of course, that you (or we) may discover that ChaCo is unlikely to suit you – and that’s fine. Better to find that out early on than after you’ve moved in! But if you’re still on board after being a Prospective Member for 6 months or more, you’ll then have the option of applying for Full Membership.
NB: Being a Prospective Member doesn’t guarantee that there will be suitable accommodation if/when you eventually apply for Full Membership. However, we will usually take on new Prospective Members only if we think there’s a reasonable chance that a suitable unit will be available.
As a general rule, all adults living in ChaCo need to be Full Members and take on their share of the workload and decision-making. Full Members are people who:
- join the community and plan to live in the co-housing community
- actively and fully support the principles of the co-housing project
- meet the criteria set out below
- have been accepted into membership, paid the fee and signed a membership agreement with ChaCo
- participate in making decisions about the running and funding of the project.
Full members commit to contributing to the success of the project and to dedicating their time, skills and resources to this as necessary and agreed by the group, as the project develops.
They have a guaranteed place in the project, provided they can meet the financial criteria for their chosen type of property and tenancy and contribute to the completion and running of the community.
Full Members will normally have been Prospective Members for at least 6 months, but this may be less in some circumstances. During this time they will have been involved as agreed, which may include:
- fully acquainting themselves with all aspects of the project and understanding the underlying principles of the co-housing project, the obligations and commitments of members
- visiting an existing cohousing development
- participating in a working group
- attending ChaCo business meetings
- attending and contributing to ChaCo meals
- attending special planning meetings and workshops
- actively participating in promoting the project and building support for it in the neighbourhood.