Frequently Asked QuestionS
© Lauren Goodey
What is a Coop?
A cooperative (also known as co-operative, co-op, or coop) is "an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly-owned enterprise". Cooperatives are democratically owned by their members, with each member having one vote in electing the board of directors. Cooperatives may include:
businesses owned and managed by the people who use their services (a consumer cooperative)
organizations managed by the people who work there (worker cooperatives)
or hybrid cooperatives that share ownership between different stakeholder groups. For example, care cooperatives where ownership is shared between both care-givers and receivers. Stakeholders might also include non-profits or investors.
second- and third-tier cooperatives whose members are other cooperatives
platform cooperatives that use a cooperatively owned and governed website, mobile app or a protocol to facilitate the sale of goods and services.
What is a Loan stock?
Loan stock is a loan in the form of an unsecured fixed-term, fixed-interest bond. Loan stock is non-transferable. It cannot be sold on, or transferred from one person to another unless it is held jointly. In event of the loan stockholder dying, then the loanstock held by them would form part of their estate and can be inherited by his/her successors along with his/her other assets. Loanstock confers neither voting rights nor any control over Future Folk i.e. it is not a share within the cooperative. However you may wish to invest loan stock and also become a tenant member.
Investors would choose the term of their loan (from a minimum of 5 years) and their interest (from 0% to 3%).
What is a Mutual Home Ownership Society (MHOS)?
A form of collective ownership that allows individual members to accumulate equity shares in a Co-operative Society. Like other co-operatives, such as fully-mutual housing cooperatives, a “Mutual Home Ownership Society” (MHOS) is a legally constituted democratic organisation regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Every resident is a member of the Society and has an equal say in how it is run. In a MHOS, members are also able to own and accumulate equity shares in the Society, with the possibility of taking this equity with them when they leave. The model was originally conceived by David Rodgers from CDS Co-operatives working with the New Economics Foundation. Interest in the MHOS model has grown in recent years, due largely to the completion of the UKs first built example, LILAC in Leeds, which delivers permanently affordable housing linked to incomes
What is Co-housing?
While cohabiting or living in a social group has been the dominant mode of living throughout history (McLaren, D. et al. 2015), contemporary co-housing is a modern innovation defined as an intentional community of private homes clustered around shared space, which originated in Denmark in the 1970s. The first two cohousing projects were Saettedammen (1972) and Skraplanetfounded (1973). Two key publications inspired their founders: Bodil Graae's 1967 “Children Should Have One Hundred Parents” and Jan Gudmand-Høyer's 1968 “The Missing Link Between Utopia and the Dated One-Family House”. These authors sought to restore “disintegrating” community values and create better families and neighbourhoods (Sargisson, 2012). Since then the cohousing movement has evolved in the following ways; communities have utilised the approach to achieve different aims such as low impact living (Chatterton, 2013), reducing urban isolation for older generations (Tummers, 2015), and creating affordable urban communities (Sinning, 2017).