Thursday, 29 July 2010

We've finally found a house!

Join us in living in it or invest in the project!

Hey! We're getting in touch about the possibility of you being involved in a co-operative housing project in Ipswich. And to ask you to spread this message amongst your contacts, news bulletins and put us in the Forming Groups section of D&D. Thanks.

Incredible news; Random Camel Housing Co-op of Ipswich, Suffolk, have had an offer accepted on a house! No.s 23-27 Foundation St.
It's actually 3 terraced 2-up 2-down properties next to one another, 2 of which have been knocked through, 1 remaining as a self contained entity.
I attach photos for your delectation. In all, it can house up to 9 tenants.

We are only able to actually buy it if there are at least 7 of us living there, and there are currently only 4 of us on the books; myself, John and Helen who i currently rent a house with, and Frankie, a recent new member who's just come back from touring housing co-ops in Canada.

We would like you to join us! (Investing info below)

The house is versatile, spacious - big rooms and lots of storage spaces - rather worn in terms of decoration (flowery and geometric wallpapers and carpets of multiple generations!!), structurally sound and a prime opportunity for a group of people to create a base of community action and live as an intentional community. It's the most appropriate building we've come across because the end house that stands alone would suit 2 or 3 people who wanted to be involved in the co-op but would need a little more privacy from the main area.

The family who are selling it told us all about the history of the place - all 7 siblings grew up there, their mother lived there for 75 years, until this January! The house has a calm, cheery, homey atmosphere, which we'd be proud to inherit.

There are 3 separate kitchens which is a godsend, because there can be vegan, veggie and omnivore kitchens! Also 3 bathrooms.
It's in the middle of town but standing in the rose and honeysuckle back gardens it feels like a secluded oasis. The other buildings on that street are offices which don't generate traffic after 5pm and some almshouses for the elderly. There is no reason for anybody driving into town at night to use the road, its not a shortcut to anywhere. So no excessive noise.

Our aims for the 'Transition Terrace':

  • We want to live sustainably, in as low impact fashion as possible in an urban environment.
  • We'd like to link up with the Energy Co-op that the Transition Town group is starting, which can mean them bulk buying solar panels and installing them on our roof so we use the electricity generated, but they sell the surplus back to the grid using the new Feed In Tariff scheme.
  • We'd like to build a compost loo or modify the existing toilet facilities to be compost loo-able.
  • The humongous 29' by 7' garage could be used to permanently house the Ripple Food Co-op, enabling it to be open weekly, if not twice weekly - evenings and weekends - and expand into offering local fresh fruit n veg. It can also be used for workshops, classes, training courses on the eco-renovations that we'll do to the building as well as old skills like preserving and brewing.
  • The 2 cellars can be used as band practice spaces and there are enough drummers involved in the project to ensure they are well used! You can stand up fully in one of the cellars and they both have electricity.
  • A room within the house can be turned into a community resource centre and info hub, putting to good use all the experience we've had in voluntary projects in our town. This could be used as meeting space for local groups.
  • We'd like to demonstrate what can be done with a small urban garden to turn it into a permacultural food unit And recreational space!
And lastly, we'd like to paint beautiful murals describing co-operative projects on the garage door :-)

If any of that floats your boat, please call me asap and we can talk about options, we can go view the place with you.

We need to raise around 50,000 pounds of finance ourselves, so we're looking for investments of anything between 500 and several thousand pounds from friends, family, organisations and the wider community. We have already got 18,000 pledged to us which is over a third of our target.
If you have money that you're looking to invest in an ethical entreprise please consider us; we can offer up to 4% interest on sums invested for 5, 10, 15 20 or 25 years. Investments are made as repayable loans, not donations, but those are gratefully received also!
Investing in this project will mean supporting the provision of affordable, tenant controlled co-operative housing in Ipswich. The building itself will be bought by the legal entity that is the co-op and cannot be sold on, so members can move in and out without being tied financially to the project - all they have to do is pay rent. It will develop into a hub of community activities and a haven for co-operative learning accessible to the entire population, not just it's tenants.

We can send you our business plan to peruse

Speak soon, wish us luck and get in touch! We want you!


Random Camel Housing Co-operative
An Industrial & Provident Society
Reg'd Feb 2007 No. IP030185

165 Burrell Road,

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Upcoming Event at UCS

As a follow up to the evening we hosted in November last autumn at the Spinney (which has now been listed Grade 2!) Random Camel Housing Co-op has organised another evening of information and discussion:.
Room W115, Waterfront Building, University Campus Suffolk, Ipswich.
7pm ending no later than 9:30pm

We'll be talking about creating a communal, environmentally-sound living space for those in and around Ipswich, using a tried and tested financial model: buying a property without any need for personal wealth, as a housing co-operative.

So what would be your ideal home?
(best Lloyd Grossman voices now)

Possibilities include: a roomy house with shared facilities, an urban transition terrace, a peri-urban or completely rural land project, eco-village, eco-forest-dwellings, yurt community, barges at Pin Mill...?

Please come and proffer your dream!
Random Camel Housing Co-op needs more members for our own plan to work, but if the plan isn't appealing then we want to know what would be! We want to know how you all want to live. So we'll introduce ourselves, there'll be an interactive ideal-home-mapping activity, sharing of ideas, and information from the Radical Routes network on how to make our dreams happen in the real world.

And cake.

If you can, forward and print and display the attached poster. Thanks.