Spare 5 minutes? Please fill in our survey

Co-operatives South East and Mutual Aid In Sussex (MAIS) are working together to survey co-operatives of all kinds between Worthing and Eastbourne (anyone within the BN postcode area) to find out where we can be the most useful and where there is most enthusiasm to build the co-operative movement in the area.

We would like as many co-op members as possible to fill it out, so please pass the survey on to all the members of your co-op.

Fill in the survey here

We are planning a joint meetup/social with Co-ops South East on the evening of Wednesday 6 June in Brighton. More information on that to come but save the date!

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Next organising meeting

MAIS and Co-ops South East are meeting together on Wednesday 28 March at 7pm at on Blackman St (just off Trafalgar St).

We are working with Co-ops South East to survey co-ops in the city about the kinds of things they would want to get involved in and to try and strengthen both our networks.

We are planning organise some events and training throughout 2018, including regular meet ups to try and encourage mutual aid between those who want to live and/or work cooperatively in Brighton & Hove and so we can get to know each other better.

Please come along if you want to get more involved with organising.

Email mais@riseup.net if you are coming so we can give you info on getting into the building.

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New videos on community-led housing

The Brighton & Hove Community-Led Housing Programme is producing useful videos for housing co-ops, cohousing groups and groups self-build projects.

The Brighton & Hove Community-Led Housing Programme was launched on Wednesday 21 February and there are now videos from the event on the Brighton & Hove Community Land Trust website, including the full talks from Stephen Hill, Director at C2O futureplanners and a key player in community-led housing nationally; and Martyn Holmes of Brighton’s Bunker Self-Build Housing Co-op.

Here is a teaser:

The Programme is running a series of workshops for community-led housing groups throughout the year, with a focus on practical knowledge and skills.

The first took place on 24 February with Nathan Brown (Co-op Culture) giving an introduction to financial planning for community-led housing. Watch Nathan’s full presentation below:

To be kept up to date with similar workshops and events in the future, join the BHCLT mailing list here.

MAIS is working with Brighton & Hove Community Land Trust and Co-operative Housing in Brighton & Hove (CHIBAH) to run the Community-Led Housing Programme, supported from Brighton & Hove City Council (BHCC).

Find out more at: bhclt.org.uk

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Community solutions to the housing crisis

Launch of the Brighton & Hove Community-Led Housing Programme on Wednesday 21 February.

Community-led housing is a way to create more genuinely affordable and secure homes, allowing local people to create alternatives that are community focused and take power back from the hands of developers, letting agencies and a housing market that is out of control.

MAIS is working with Brighton & Hove Community-Land Trust (BHCLT) and Co-operative Housing In Brighton & Hove (CHIBAH) on a new Community-Led Housing Programme, supported by Brighton & Hove City Council (BHCC).

There will be a free launch event at the Brighthelm Centre on Wednesday 21 February. Reserve your place here at Eventbrite.

At the FREE launch event there will be the opportunity to:

  • Find out more about what community-led housing is and why it could be a good option for you.
  • Hear about exciting examples of community-led housing right here in Brighton & Hove.
  • Meet other people who want to start their own housing projects.
  • Find out more about Housing Ourselves: grants of £1,000 up to £50,000 available to housing groups.
  • Learn about how the Programme can connect people with experts, or how your expertise could be useful to a community-led housing group.
  • Ask us questions, including advice on Housing Ourselves grant applications.
  • Share your ideas for community-led housing in Brighton & Hove and what support you need to make them happen.

The event will take place on Wednesday 21 February, 5.30-9.00pm (Registration from 5:15pm) in the Auditorium, Brighthelm Centre, North Road, Brighton, East Sussex BN1 1YD. Food will be provided at the start of the event.

Reserve your place here at Eventbrite

Find out more about the Community-Led Housing Programme, and what support is available here at the CLT website.

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Open day: What is it like to live in a housing co-operative?

Join us on Saturday 15 July for an open day of six housing co-operatives in Brighton & Hove, each with its own story. This is a chance to see some of the ways more genuinely affordable housing has been created in the city.

Please turn up at any of the houses at 1pm, 2.30pm and 4pm (Rosa Bridge is just 1pm) for the tour of the house/flat, kindly offered by one of the residents who can answer questions and give an overview of the co-operative’s history.

Members of MAIS will be at Coachwerks in Hollingdean between 12.30pm and 6pm to answer any questions and provide information. Drop in for a drink and a chat. More on Coachwerks here: http://coachwerks.org/

Two Piers

Two Piers is a permanent ownership housing co-operative, Brighton’s largest housing co-op. It provides affordable housing for 68 single people, including parents, in shared and self-contained flats and houses in several locations across the city.

The Christchurch flats are very central, close to Western Road. There are eleven flats, of various sizes, in two blocks facing each other across a small paved garden, which boasts a fishpond and lovely pergola.

Christchurch is on the site of an old church which was demolished. The Two Piers build started in 1985 and tenants moved in two years later. The housing was designed by Michael Blee, who closely followed the Co-op’s brief of providing a highly communal building, basing his ideas on rural villages in India and Mexico.

There is a ‘gazebo’ in the garden, used for meetings, band practice, children’s parties, meditation, and which currently houses the co-op’s archives and library.

There will be a sign on the door of Christchurch so you can contact the resident who will show you around her flat. The flat is accessible on ground floor but there are stairs to the toilet. Neighbours with no stairs can let people use their toilet if needs be.

More info: http://twopiers.coop Continue reading

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How can we bring more community-led housing to Brighton and Hove?

Affordability, instability, damp, bad landlords, overcrowding – just some of the issues raised at Housing Crisis: Community Solutions 2017 on Saturday 24 June.

People from across Brighton, Hove and beyond came together to discuss their housing wants and needs, learn about some of the community-led alternatives and share ideas for what to do next. We also heard from some of the people working to change the situation, from people living in co-operatives to others campaigning for a living rent.

Tom Chance of the National Community Land Trust Network gave an overview of the different options when it comes to community-led housing – from co-operatives to cohousing, building form scratch to making use of an existing house or building. You can download his presentation here (ppt).

Helen Russell and Peter Clarke gave an overview of Brighton and Hove Community Land Trust (BHCLT) as well as the potential of a new community-led led housing hub for Brighton and Hove that could support new groups. You can download their presentation here (pptx).

Allie and Helen from two local housing co-operatives – Skylark and Rosa Bridge – talked about how they started and how they make their co-ops work. You can download their presentation here (pptx).

Thank you to all of the speakers, Hail Seitain! who provided the food and everyone who came along to help out on the day, or share their ideas.

What comes next?

We want to keep the conversation going so do get in contact on mais@riseup.net with any questions or ideas that need following up.

On Saturday 15 July there will be a chance to see the variety of what a housing co-operative could mean in practice. Housing co-operatives around Brighton and Hove have kindly agreed to show people around at set times during the day. There will also be people in Coachwerks, Hollingdean during the day to answer any questions, or just have a cup of tea. Find out more here.

On Wednesday 19 July there will be a meeting of Mutual Aid in Sussex (MAIS) at Coachwerks, 19a Hollingdean Terrace, BN1 7HB from 7.30pm. It will be a chance to meet other people who are interested in more community-minded and co-operative living and working, discuss ideas and work out where we can help each other out. It will also be a chance to follow up on any ideas or issues raised at the housing event on Saturday. If you can, please bring £1 towards the venue costs.

On Saturday 19 August Brighton and Hove Housing Coalition is holding a conference and launch event at the Crypt Community Centre, St George’s Road, Kemp Town, BN2 1ED. There will be a question and answer session with local MPs, and workshops on a variety of topics, including temporary & emergency accommodation, community-led housing, health and housing, legislation, accessibility, homelessness and affordability. Sign up for the event and find out more here at Eventbrite.

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Open day: What is it like to live in a housing co-operative?

Join us on Saturday 15 July for an open day of six housing co-operatives in Brighton & Hove, each with its own story. This is a chance to see some of the ways more genuinely affordable housing has been created in the city.

Please turn up at any of the houses at 1pm, 2.30pm and 4pm (Rosa Bridge is just 1pm) for the tour of the house/flat, kindly offered by one of the residents who can answer questions and give an overview of the co-operative’s history.

Members of MAIS will be at Coachwerks in Hollingdean between 12.30pm and 6pm to answer any questions and provide information. Drop in for a drink and a chat. More on Coachwerks here: http://coachwerks.org/

Please note:
Visits to Rosa Bridge can only be made at 1pm
For the exact address of Out of Town, please contact MAIS (mais@riseup.net)

These Co-operatives are available to visit on the day (information on each house underneath the map)

Two Piers

Address: 3 Christchurch, Bedford Place, BN1 2QJ

Two Piers is a permanent ownership housing co-operative, Brighton’s largest housing co-op. It provides affordable housing for 68 single people, including parents, in shared and self-contained flats and houses in several locations across the city.

The Christchurch flats are very central, close to Western Road. There are eleven flats, of various sizes, in two blocks facing each other across a small paved garden, which boasts a fishpond and lovely pergola.

Christchurch is on the site of an old church which was demolished. The Two Piers build started in 1985 and tenants moved in two years later. The housing was designed by Michael Blee, who closely followed the Co-op’s brief of providing a highly communal building, basing his ideas on rural villages in India and Mexico.

There is a ‘gazebo’ in the garden, used for meetings, band practice, children’s parties, meditation, and which currently houses the co-op’s archives and library.

There will be a sign on the door of Christchurch so you can contact the resident who will show you around her flat. The flat is accessible on ground floor but there are stairs to the toilet. Neighbours with no stairs can let people use their toilet if needs be.

More info: http://twopiers.coop Continue reading

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The schedule for Housing Crisis: Community solutions 2017

Saturday 24 June, 10am – 5pm
Brighton Steiner School, Roedean Road, Kemp Town/Whitehawk, BN2 5RA (map).
FREE entry. Donations asked for to cover costs. No person turned away for lack of funds.

Register here:

 

 

 

We have a housing crisis in Brighton & Hove. House prices are nearly five times what they were twenty years ago. Over 30% of households are privately renting, which is the biggest proportion of any town and city in England and Wales. More than 26,000 people are on the council housing waiting list and 1 in 69 people in Brighton & Hove are homeless. Most of us can’t afford to live here without some form of subsidy or spending a massive amount of our incomes on housing. Damp housing, overcrowding and evictions are all too common.

Community-led housing (including housing co-operatives and Cohousing) is one of many ways to create more genuinely affordable and secure housing in the city. It also enables people to be more part of a community and to take power back from the hands of developers, letting agencies and a housing market that is out of control.

Housing Crisis: Community solutions 2017 is an opportunity to find out about – and get help to create –different kinds of community-led housing.

Find out more here

9.30-10.00am Registration
10.00-10.20am
Introducing the day – Amy and Matt (Mutual Aid in Sussex)
Who are MAIS? What is happening today? What are the issues with housing in Brighton? What do we want to come out of the event?
10.25 – 12.00am
Facilitated discussion on our housing needs and wants – Lucy and Sarah
What are the housing needs of people attending and what housing would people ideally want
 12.05- 13.05pm
What are your options in community-led housing? – An overview by Tom Chance (National Community Land Trust network)
Cohousing? Housing co-ops? Self-build? And how do we make it happen?
13.05-14.05
Lunch

Food provided by Hail Seitan! (a workers’ collective)
Reserve your lunch here
 2.10-3.10pm
How can people get support and money to help set up community-led housing in the city? – Helen Russell & Peter Clarke (both members of Brighton Community Land Trust & Co-operative Housing in Brighton & Hove)
3.15-4.15pm
How two local housing co-ops did it in practice?  Allie (Skylark Housing Co-op), Helen Bartlett (Rosa Bridge)
Members and residents of two co-ops answer questions such as: What is a housing co-op? How did we get the money? How did we find the right people? What makes a co-op different to standard renting? How do we keep it going? What makes our co-op different?
4.20-4.45pm
What next? – Amy and Matt (Mutual Aid in Sussex)
A summary of some of the main issues raised in the day and how to take things forward.
4.45-5.45pm
Informal socialising, followed by drinks in the pub.

There will be a chance to join existing community housing groups or start your own with other like-minded people at the event. People from housing organisations and campaigns in the city will be there to answer any questions.

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Housing Crisis: Community solutions 2017

Join us on Saturday 24 June for a day dedicated to community-led housing and how people can make it happen.

We have a housing crisis in Brighton & Hove. House prices are nearly five times what they were twenty years ago. Over 30% of households are privately renting, which is the biggest proportion of any town and city in England and Wales. Around 26,000 people are on the council housing waiting list and 1 in 69 people in Brighton & Hove are homeless. Most of us can’t afford to live here without some form of subsidy or spending a massive amount of our incomes on housing. Damp housing, overcrowding and evictions are all too common.

Community-led housing (including housing co-operatives and Cohousing) is one of many ways to create more genuinely affordable and secure housing in the city. It also enables people to be more part of a community and to take power back from the hands of developers, letting agencies and a housing market that is out of control.

Housing Crisis: Community solutions 2017 is an opportunity to find out about – and get help to create – housing co-operatives and co-housing. There will also be a session on how people or groups can access money and support to help build new community-led housing in Brighton & Hove. See the full schedule for the day here.

There will be a chance to join existing community housing groups or start your own with other like-minded people at the event. People from housing organisations and campaigns in the city will be there to answer any questions.

Saturday 24 June from 10am – 5pm at Brighton Steiner School, Roedean Rd, BN2 5RA (map). The event is FREE but we are asking for donations to help cover costs.

You will need to book in advance if you would like lunch on the day (you can also bring your own food instead).  You can turn up on the day without booking but it would help us get an idea of numbers if you reserve your place in advance, even if you don’t want lunch.

Register here:

 

 

 

There will be a creche, so please let us know in advance if you are bringing children. There is also a disabled toilet at the school and the talks and stalls will be on the ground level. If you would like to come but have access needs you don’t think are covered, please get in touch on mais@riseup.net.

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Occupy the factory! Workers and communities take over in Greece and beyond

Liam Barrington-Bush will join the next Mutual Aid In Sussex meeting, on Wednesday 19 April to talk about solidarity ecosystems in Greece and beyond.

Occupy the factory! Solidarity ecosystems of communities in Greece & beyond by Mutual Aid in Sussex

poster greece

A VIOME worker puts up a poster for the 2nd Euromed Workers’ Economy meeting. By Liam Barrington-Bush, CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

In 2011, the Vio.Me. factory in Thessaloniki became the first European face of the occupied factory movement which came to global prominence in Argentina in 2001 and has since spread across Latin America.

Workplace occupations present an obvious alternatives to worker exploitation, with workers developing collective and cooperative means of organising their work, without bosses. Based on the practices that have emerged at Vio.Me. in Greece and in factories across Argentina, they may also offer a more directly democratic, sustainable and grassroots vision of how social change can happen.

Connecting with other grassroots, network-led forms of organising that have taken root elsewhere in the world (e.g. Chiapas, Rojava), come and explore what the organising models found at Vio.Me. could mean for a range of radical organising efforts closer to home.

Liam travelled to Greece in October 2016 to hear stories from workers and attend the Euromediterranean Workers Economy meeting, a unique glimpse into a breadth of worker-occupations happening across Europe.

Occupy the factory! Solidarity ecosystems of communities in Greece & beyond by Mutual Aid in Sussex

Join us at 7.30pm on Wednesday 19 April at Coachwerks, 19A Hollingdean Terrace, Brighton. Please bring £1 towards venue costs.

Read more about Liam’s experiences in Greece here on the ROAR website.

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