Hastings Older Women’s Co Housing

HOWCH held a meeting in November 2018 with a shout out for talent!

The name comes from similar schemes for Older Women’s Community Housing (OWCH).  This group added the “H” for Hastings.  It was started in October 2017.

Brekke Larsen explained the vision behind HOWCH was from Denmark where her godfather lived in a co-operative housing scheme.  This enabled him to maintain his independence whilst ensuring that he was never lonely.  Many years later, Brekke’s niece separated from her husband and went to live with her children in a shared development.  In this scheme, everyone had their own front doors but with some shared amenities.  There is now a movement towards this type of development in the UK.

Action for Rural Sussex is one such organisation that is involved in providing advice and support for such schemes.

There are about 200 Community Land Trusts (CLTs) around the country e.g. Bristol, York, Brent (the most famous).  This type of scheme also features in Hastings Borough Council’s (HBC) manifesto.  In some ways, CLTs fill the gap left by the reduction in council housing.

This is the background to the idea behind HOWCH.  It is not for profit.  No-one will make money out of this – it is only for the community.  There are now 5 people in the Steering Group.  Stage 3 funding has been applied for.  This will enable HOWCH to set up a legal entity, create a website etc.  The next stage is to take this to the community to see what the reaction might be.  The Steering Group want to be sure that what they are doing is what the community are interested in.

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http://www.transitiontownhastings.org.uk/hastings-older-womens-co-housing/

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