Cornerstone Housing Co-operative

Leeds, England, United Kingdom

  • Last updated: January 4, 2019 (3 seconds ago)
  • Listing created on: October 16, 2004

Mission Statement

Direct action & Mutual aid, ecological thinking, co-operative living, extending common ownership.

Community Description

Cornerstone has two large Victorian houses in Chapeltown, an ethnically diverse part of Leeds. Both houses need a lot of ongoing maintenance, and have large gardens front and back, which we variously hang out in, tend, or leave wild—attracting wildlife and producing some food (herbs, fruit and vegetables). Between us there is space for up to 16 members to live, though there are often visitors. One house has an office & computer facilities, both houses have wifi.

Each house has a food kitty, members eat together each night and communal food is vegan, although the houses are vegetarian. There is an emphasis on members being socially active, and members are often involved in local and national campaigns on a diverse range of issues, from asylum seeking to radical ecological action to queer politics. Footprint Workers Cooperative and the Cornerstone Resource Centre (providing resources for campaigns) are based in the cellar of one house.

Cornerstone is a member of Radical Routes (www.radicalroutes.org.uk), the UK network for radical co-ops promoting cooperation and working for social change. We encourage investors to take out shares in Rootstock (ww.rootstock.org.uk), investors’ co-op, to support this work and fund new co-operatives.

About

  • Type(s): Commune (organized around sharing almost everything)
  • Programs & Activities: Ethical Business, Investment Group, or Alternative Currency, political, ecological & non-hierarchical
  • Location: Urban

Housing

  • Status: We do not have land
  • Area: 1 acres
  • Current Residence Types: Room(s) in a house or building
  • Current Number of Residences: 2
  • Housing Provided: Included in Membership
  • Land owned by: The Community

Membership

  • Adult Members: 15
  • Child Members: 0
  • Non-member Residents: 0
  • Percent Women: 41-49%
  • Percent Men: 41-49%
  • Percent Transgender: 1-10%
  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Visitor Process:

    Phone or email us if you want to visit. We are inner-city-based and most of us have jobs or projects that we work on during the day so we will not necessarily be around. However, there’s usually someone, and if you like to keep busy, there is plenty of stuff that needs doing like gardening and DIY.

    The amount of work and people around varies, but if you want to use the house as a base and contribute whilst visiting Leeds, you are welcome. Make yourselves at home while you’re here.

  • Open to new Members: Yes
  • Membership Process:

    Email, you will receive lots of info about policies, the ethos, the joining process. Then you need to meet all current tenants properly (stay over at least twice) and we decide about offers of probationary membership at monthly co-op meetings. Probationary membership is 6 months.

Government

  • Decision Making: Consensus (everyone agrees)
  • Identified Leader: No
  • Leadership Core Group: No
  • Additional Comments:

    monthly co-op meetings, monthly feelings meetings, ad hoc house meetings, Radical Routes quarterly gatherings often preceeded by RR agenda meetings in the co-op, 6-weekly workweekends and other ad hoc meetings and trainings. Each member holds an officer post (eg rent, vehicle management, internal membership, secretary, treasury) and reports to the monthly coop meetings.

Economics

  • Dues, Fees, or Shared Expenses: Yes
  • Regular Fee per Month: $430
  • Shared Income: Partial share of income
  • Required Labor Contribution per Week: 0
  • Open to members with existing debt: Yes
  • Additional Comments:

    rent is 1/3 of income, kitty contributions on a sliding scale

    Members are expected to participate in house life, attend meetings, engage in work for Radical Routes and contribute to maintaining the buildings.

    £1 share to become a member /director of the co-op

    Rent (1/3 income) plus kitty contributions plus bills (ca. £90/month)

Sustainability Practices

  • Energy Infrastructure: We are connected to the grid.
  • Current renewable energy generation: 100%
  • Energy sources: Clean Energy from the Grid
  • Current food produced: Up to 25%
  • Planned food produced: Up to 25%
  • Food produced locally: Up to 25%

Lifestyle

  • Common Facilities: Garden(s), Greenhouse(s), Vehicle Share, Library, Workshop, Internet, bathrooms, kitchens, etc.
  • Internet Available: Yes, community provides it
  • Internet Fast?: Yes, it’s fine.
  • Cell Phone Service: Good for most people.
  • Shared meals: Approximately all dinners
  • Dietary Practice: Vegetarian Only (no animal meat; dairy and eggs okay) – Please check this only if you are 100% Vegetarian, Mostly Vegan
  • Dietary Choice or Restrictions: Somewhat – there are some dietary restrictions or customs.
  • Special Diets OK: Yes
  • Alcohol Use: Yes, used often.
  • Tobacco Use: Yes, used occasionally.
  • Additional Diet Comments:

    communal meals are vegan, communal areas are vegetarian
    All joint meals are vegan
    non-veggie skipped food should be hidden or kept outside.

    no smoking in communal areas

  • Common Spiritual Practice(s): Not a particularly spiritual or religious community

Additional Comments

Our membership of the Radical Routes federation of co-ops keeps us to our commitments to be active in working to change society and to time and energy contributions to the work of Radical Routes itself.

Keywords

non-hierarchical, consensus decision-making, feminist, ecological, co-operative, vegan