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Co housing lunchtime Webinar Karl Hine Project Manager (Community Housing)

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Presentation on theme: "Co housing lunchtime Webinar Karl Hine Project Manager (Community Housing)"— Presentation transcript:

1 Co housing lunchtime Webinar Karl Hine Project Manager (Community Housing)

2 Overview About Aster Homes and my role How can RPs assist Co housing groups? Why do RP/Co housing partnerships make sense? How do RPs make decisions? The basic partnership model favoured by Aster

3 Overview ctd… Lessons learnt Who will Co housing groups work with within an RP? Exemplar projects What should this all cost? Any questions!?

4 Aster Homes We work across the South and South West from Cornwall to Berkshire. Developing affordable homes for the Aster Group and other organisations including Community Land Trusts and Co housing groups. Aster Communities brings together three housing associations : Flourish Homes in Somerset, Sarsen Housing Association in Wiltshire, Devon and Cornwall, and Testway Housing in Hampshire, Berkshire and Dorset. Combining these associations means we can offer a better service and value for money. Dorset based Synergy Housing Ltd is also part of the Aster Group.

5 Project Manager (Community Housing) role This role was created in August 2012 to help Aster meet the commitments in the business plan around the delivery of community led developments. Sits outside any one regional team and covers Aster’s entire area of operation from Cornwall to Berkshire and beyond! The focus is on deliverability and allowing Aster to focus resources where they can make the biggest social impact. Making money is not important!

6 How can RPs help Co housing groups? A range of options are on offer. General advice, support and signposting. Development Agency services. Full partnership projects with the RP taking all the financial risk, attracting grant funding and then building out and managing the homes.

7 Why do RP/Co housing partnerships make sense for RPs? A chance to give something back to local communities and acknowledge their roots. Co housing groups and RPs have plenty in common. Kudos with the wider community, local authorities and central Government. Adds to the core business of delivering affordable homes. Access to land and funding that would otherwise be unavailable. Staff development benefits.

8 And for Co housing groups? Reputational benefits! Access to expertise! Financial benefits! Reducing the risk! Reducing the regulatory burden!

9 The internal decision making process Initially development staff are expected to use their experience to judge whether an opportunity is worth pursuing. Stage 1 approval will allow an “at –risk” budget to be set in order to progress the project. Stage 2 approval is required before entering into Contract. Outlier projects (such as those above a certain Total Scheme Cost or projects with poor financial viability) will also need Aster Group Board approval to proceed.

10 Break for questions

11 The basic partnership model used by Aster This model has evolved and been refined during the delivery of Aster’s CLT schemes in Bradworthy, Toller Porcorum and Maiden Newton. The community group retains ownership of the freehold, Aster develops and manages every project under a 125yr lease. Aster pays an annual ground rent to the community group and the community group has the option to buy back the project at any time. Aster is responsible for attracting grant funding (if necessary) for the project and assumes all the financial risk. Aster appoints consultants with input from the community group. In future joint appointments are likely to become the standard.

12 The basic partnership model ctd… The community group has the option to lead on the scheme design operating within the relevant financial, technical and planning parameters. Aster is responsible for tendering and letting the build contract. The community group is responsible for agreeing the Local Allocations Plan which is appended to the S106 Agreement, with advice and support from Aster and the local authority. Representatives of the community group attend site meetings during the build period and make all choices relating to internal and external finishes and fittings for rented units.

13 Establish Heads of Terms early. Ensure all consultants understand that the Co housing group is an equal partner. Conduct a skills audit. Split the workload within the group. Bring in specialist expertise at the correct time. Ensure that the Co housing group understands the RP’s internal decision making process from the outset. Lessons learnt

14 Teams within RPs and external consultants The Project Manager co ordinates all internal and external consultants and will be the Co housing group’s main point of contact throughout the lifetime of the project. Pre-planning stage – keep lines of communication with architect and other consultants clear. Negotiating the S106 Agreement – involve the local authority, the RP’s lettings team and the three legal teams. The build period – liaison with the Clerk of Works, Contractor and Employer’s Agent. Post completion – working with the Project Manager, Contractor and the Employer’s Agent for the first year and then the RP’s Housing Management and Property divisions into the future.

15 Break for questions

16 Exemplar projects – No.1 The Threshold Centre A unique pioneering Co housing community and sustainable education centre which aims to demonstrate a green, affordable and neighbourly way of life. Began to operate on a pilot basis in Following the rejection of the first Planning Application in 2006 the group decided to work with EDHA (now known as Synergy) and include affordable housing as part of the development. Planning permission granted in 2008 for 14 dwellings, including 7 affordable homes, the first affordable Co housing properties in the UK!

17 The Threshold Centre… Alongside the housing the Threshold Centre also features a common house with shared facilities and guest rooms, green energy systems and a community market garden! Other features of the highly sustainable development include car and bike sharing, a biodigester, solar panels, a biomass heating system, the recycling of water and waste and green tourism. Co housing courses provide an opportunity for people to experience life in a Co housing community over a weekend and offer advice on how to establish your own Co housing project.

18 No.2 – Bradworthy CLT In 2012 the local community in Bradworthy decided to tackle the issue of a shortage of affordable housing in their parish and formed a CLT. After appraising the various options open to them they decided that a partnership with a housing association would be the best way for them to deliver the much needed affordable homes. Over the following 18 months a site was selected and, after public consultation and many revisions, a planning application was submitted and eventually approved. Aster and the CLT worked closely to ensure that the scheme layout and design made the best possible use of the site on the edge of the village.

19 Bradworthy CLT… Aster secured grant funding from both the Homes and Communities Agency and Torridge District Council and tendered the project at the end of Work started on site in March 2014 and the ten new homes for affordable rent will be occupied by local people by the end of March Bradworthy CLT supplied the build contractor with an extensive list of local companies and tradesmen. Bradworthy CLT owns the freehold of the development and will receive an annual ground rent from Aster to enable them to pursue their future aspirations for further affordable housing and community facilities. Plans for a second phase of development are already underway!

20 What should RP involvement cost a Co housing group? RPs will not use Co housing projects to make money. There are many far easier and more profitable ventures! If a Co housing group enters into a Development Agency or full partnership agreement with an RP the relationship should be clearly defined from the outset. No hidden costs! In general an RP will be looking for the project to break even and/or to cover their costs.

21 Any questions!? You can also contact me at


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