Principles

The Cohousing Co-operative Ltdis funded as a resident managed co-operative. Under the terms of our agreement with the Housing Department, 80% of residents must be eligible for public housing (ie holder of a health care card, income and asset limits etc), and the other 20% must not be home owners and must declare that their income and assets are within the limits defined by the co-op.

 

Applicants must be eligible for Public Housing at Housing Tasmania. Information is available at Housing Tasmania. People are eligible who:

 

    1. are low income earners (are eligible for a Commonwealth Health Card Card);

    2. are residents of Australia living in Tasmania;

    3. are 16 years of age or older; and

    4. have financial assets less than $34,472.60 (for the total household application)(and no house)(anywhere).

  1.  

To be eligible for housing, at least one member of the proposed new household must demonstrate an interest in the Co-operative, by contacting the Secretary. At this point the Secretary will determine whether the interested person/s would be eligible and, if so, sends them information.

 

Secretary

201 Strickland Ave

Cascades Tasmania 7004

Australia

Email: secretary(at)cohousing.coop

 

A list of interested persons/households will be maintained by the Secretary. They will be contacted when a house is known to be falling vacant.

The decision on who is chosen to fill a vacant house will be made by current active member residents considering the relative merits of each contacted applicant based on the selection criteria and the outcome of the interviewing process

The criteria are designed to ensure the process of allocating vacant houses is fair and equitable with due consideration given to the needs of people for housing, balanced with the Co-op's own needs for a vibrant, diverse and involved cohousing membership.

 

 

 

 

SELECTION CRITERIA

(JUNE 2013)

1. Housing need

•Some factors increasing housing need are: children in the household, low income, elderly & social isolation.

 

2. Household size matched to house size.

•Same number of people in the household as bedrooms in the house, or as close as possible

 

3. Understanding of co-operatives

•Willing to follow the rules governing the co-operative

•Willing to ensure financial viability through active membership

•Support co-operation between co-operatives and the development of co-operatives in Tasmania

 

4. Understanding of Cohousing

•Contribute to a diverse, productive, recreational landscape

•Contribute to a safe, secure and friendly neighbourhood and wider community

•Develop sustainable energy practices

•Participate to ensure the physical structures here meet the requirements of the residents

•Willing to contribute to security and stability for the children of the cohousing

 

5. Interpersonal abilities

•Honest, respectful, compassionate and deal constructively with conflict

•Declare your own and respect others’ boundaries

•Willing to contribute to the wellbeing of the community by participating in agreed activities – currently a minimum of ten hours a month

•Ability to balance group living with being an individual

•Interests and skills that you bring to the coop

 

6. Diversity

•Diversity of members based on age, gender, child/adult ratio, skills, etc

 

 

 

 

 

Process

(October 2012 version)

 

1. Initial contact and ‘people interested list’

•The Co-op is accepting households where adults are eligible for public housing.

•If you are interested in joining the Cohousing Co-operative, write a letter addressed to the Secretary stating your interest and giving your contact details. You are then placed on the ‘people interested list’.

•A contact person will respond to your initial contact by mail, phone or email.

•As long as you are on the list, you will be contacted from time to time with updates. Please let us know if your contact details change or if you decide you are no longer interested.

 

2. Vacant house

•When a house becomes available, the contact person will contact those people on the waiting list whose household size matches the size of the vacant house.

•The contact person will check you are still interested and update your household and contact details and will also confirm you are still eligible.

 

3. Information pack

You will be provided with an information pack that includes:

The external version of the selection process (this document),

The selection criteria,

International Principles of Co-operation,

Information on consensus decision-making.

 

4. Written response

You are then asked to send a written reply to some specific questions (not the selection criteria). If you feel uncomfortable about writing you can meet with the contact person to discuss your responses in person. The questions are:

 

Tell us about your family or household.

Tell us about your background and interests.

What do you know about cohousing and about co-operatives?

Why are you interested in living in the Cohousing Co-operative?

 

Please keep written responses at a maximum of two A4 pages. The contact person will give you a date by which you need to respond. If there is more than one adult in your household we would like to hear from both of you, either separately or as a joint application. Children’s contributions are welcome.

The co-op uses these responses to help decide which applicants to progress to the next stage.

 

5. Getting to know each other

The contact person will arrange a time for you to view the vacant house, if you have not already. You are also invited to attend two (or more) get-togethers with the Co-op:

Essential:

1.one commonmeal (only one interested household at a time at common meals)

2.interview with selection panel

Other options if time permits:

3.a meeting with the Board about co-op rights and responsibilities

4.attendance at a Site Meeting (only one interested household at a time at meeting)

5.coming along to a working bee.

This is an opportunity for you to get to know Co-op members and the general ‘feel’ of the community.

 

6. Interviews

Each household then has an interview with an interview panel of three Co-op members. You will be provided with the interview questions prior to your interview – these questions are based around the eight selection criteria provided to you.

•Interviews are held in the commonhouse. However, if you are experiencing problems with this, please discuss with the contact person.

•The interviews are informal and friendly. The interviewers take turns asking the interview questions and are happy to clarify any questions that the applicant has about life in a cohousing co-operative.

•This is a more detailed ‘getting to know you’ process where the Co-op is learning more about you and you can learn as much as you need to know about the Co-op.

 

7. One household is chosen

•Once all the interviews have been completed, the interview panel makes a recommendation to the site meeting.

•The site meeting then discusses all the scores and interviews, confers and chooses the household that is best suited to become a member at that time.

 

8. Dates and checks

The contact person contacts the successful applicant (and the unsuccessful ones) to let them know about the decision and a timeline. They may negotiate regarding a move-in date. If you decide to join the Co-op you are required to:

•provide a police check (specifically regarding crimes against people and property),

•provide a credit check,

•make an application for membership to the Co-operative and lodge it, with $1.00, to the Secretary.

 

9. Afterwards

•The Residency Committee contacts the new member-in-application to arrange an income review and to discuss and sign the Residency Subscription Agreement. They ensure you understands how much rent to pay, where to pay it and when your first payment is due.

•Households not chosen may remain on the people interested list if they wish.