The Park Housing Cooperative

A Park Wide Housing Co-operative Comes a Step Closer!

Duneland Ltd can work with Ekopia to bring affordable housing to the community.

The big vision is to create affordable housing at The Park for some of those people who have been drawn to and are committed to the long-term building of this special community and place. People who may not have the finances to buy a house or pay a huge amount of rent and those that have given to this community and need a place to live out their days here. How we start grounding this vision is by using the Duneland project as the initial catalyst. Last Friday the Moray Council agreed that we could deliver four of the houses that we are obliged to do as part of the Duneland planning application on the East Whins site. This is excellent news indeed as £50,000/ house, £200,000 in total, that would have gone to an outside housing association can now be used to help us start delivering affordable housing using our own community structures. Ekopia will be used as the initial vehicle to deliver this but a Park Housing Co-operative will need to be set up as a specialist body in the future. (This will essentially operate as a local housing association but cannot be called such as it would need to be strictly controlled by the government which we would not wish.) The great advantage of this is that we are in control of who is allocated housing within this intentional community.

This is not being handed to us on a plate and we need to find donations of about £30,000/ house and zero interest loans of £30,000/ house, £240,000 in total to make this project fly. We have not been going long but the momentum is building; £6030 in donations and £44,000 in zero interest loans have already been given or pledged. A major Duneland shareholder has also given her support to the project by making available a further £37,000 as a zero interest loan and over £50,000 as a donation. So we now have committed £81,000 in loans and £55,300 in donations totaling £137,030! That’s more than half way to the first milestone in three weeks! Great to see that given the right vision, the old magic of this place is still here.

The next milestone would be to secure a further four houses for community control in East Whins and after that at least another four within the Wild Geese Co-housing cluster. The final part of the dream would be to be able to buy properties as they come on the market to put them under community control. This is not going to happen over night but it is a big vision that will make a difference to who can live and sustainably stay within this community. It will add to our diversity and vitality, allow young people as our lifeblood to find a niche within our community and old people a place that they could live the whole of their lives within their community home.

We need your support to ground this vision now. We do have a real opportunity to do something different here. The easy option is to have houses bought by private individuals. Is this going to create the community that we wish or simply an exclusive one that is only for those that have capital? We can collectively shape our community by putting into place the right long-term structures that are necessary for it to thrive. This initiative is one of those structures. We have until March to see how many of the houses in East Whins we can put in community control and then they will need to be sold privately.

You are invited to invest in this special place in a specific way. Money can be creatively used here rather than in a bank and even a small interest paid if that is what you need. Security is guaranteed by being backed by property. No donation is too small and we are also open to the abundance of the universe to support a vision whose time has come.

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