CDS Cooperative

CDS Cooperative

Visiting Speaker - David Rodgers

David Rodgers is the Executive Director of CDS Co-operative.

Brief notes from his presentation below:

CDS is the largest housing cooperative in the country. It is registered as an RSL with the Tenant Services Authority, and is a non profit organisation. It is a secondary cooperative, which means that it provides management and consultation services to primary housing cooperatives.

Cooperative organisations are enterprises, owned and controled by the people who benefit from them. In the UK over 20 million people are in a cooperative. Over 800 million people worldwide are in a cooperative of some sort.

A co-operative is an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly-owned and democratically-controlled enterprise.

Co-operatives are based on the values of self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity and solidarity. In the tradition of their founders, co-operative members believe in the ethical values of honesty, openness, social responsibility and caring for others.

Co-operative Principles

  • Voluntary and Open Membership

Co-operatives are voluntary organisations, open to all persons able to use their services and willing to accept the responsibilities of membership, without gender, social, racial, political or religious discrimination.

  • Democratic Member Control

Co-operatives are democratic organisations controlled by their members, who actively participate in setting their policies and making decisions.

  • Member Economic Participation

Members contribute equitably to, and democratically control, the capital of their co-operative.

  • Autonomy and Independence

Co-operatives are autonomous, self-help organisations controlled by their members.

  • Education, Training and Information

Co-operatives provide education and training for their members, elected representatives, managers, and employees so they can contribute effectively to the development of their co-operatives.

  • Co-operation among Co-operatives

Co-operatives serve their members most effectively and strengthen the co-operative movement by working together through local, national, regional and international structures.

  • Concern for Community

Co-operatives work for the sustainable development of their communities through policies approved by their members.

Community Land Trusts (CLT) hold land as a community owned asset, they facilitate development of that land for the community benefit. This may not always mean houses, but could be provision of any services required by the neighbourhood. CLTs always have to work with the communities best interests in mind. They will have restrictive resale convenants on the land and ownership is joint between the residents and the CLT under a deed of trust.

Often the CLT will hold the land and perhaps own the property that a business or service is run from. Howver the business is run comercially and separately from the CLT and cooperative, just paying rent for the building. This rent can be used to further subsidise and help run the CLT.

David Rodgers believes housing should be seen as a consumer commodity, a durable, not as a speculative investment.

David Rodgers has written a report proposing a new model of cooperative affordable housing, titled ‘New Foundations’.

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